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November 23, 2014
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Scioli, De la Sota close ties before 2015

Buenos Aires Governor Daniel Scioli is seen yesterday with Córdoba provincial leader José Manuel de la Sota.

Buenos Aires, Córdoba governors meet following anti-PJ rant by dissident Peronist

At a time when each photo-op in Argentine politics can be seen as a sign of future alignments for next year’s general elections, Buenos Aires province Governor Daniel Scioli held a sit-down meeting yesterday with Córdoba Governor José Manuel de la Sota — a dissident Peronist.

The conclave took place in Córdoba City, where both leaders agreed to “strengthen integration between the two provinces” and announced they will launch credits to help purchase vehicles and agricultural machinery, operations that will be financed via the Córdoba Bank and the Buenos Aires province’s Provincia Bank in order to “keep employment steady.”

“It’s absolutely normal for two Peronist to get together to talk about Argentina, about politics, about the administration,” Scioli said minutes after the meeting.

The governor — technically a Kirchnerite — also stressed the “year-long relationship” with De la Sota, a fierce critic of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s administration.

Scioli was joined by the Bapro Group head Santiago Montoya, who is in charge of building a nationwide force for Scioli’s presidential bid in 2015. His brother José “Pepe” Scioli and former Finance Secretary Guillermo Nielsen — close, in turn, to former presidential candidate Roberto Lavagna — were also part of the entourage.

De la Sota, in turn, talked about the number of previous “political disputes” he had with the Buenos Aires governor but expressed his desire to leave those troubles behind.

“Once again, our friendship helped us to find common ground between the two in spite of minor political differences,” the Córdoba leader said after the meeting held at Córdoba City’s Civic Centre. “We don’t like other politicians who talk bad about others.”

He then promised to visit Scioli’s province in the near future.

Comings and goings

Last week, De la Sota dismissed the possibility of running alongside Scioli in a joint ticket and said both leaders had “different views on what’s going on today” in the country. “I respect his view the same way he respects mine.”

“I haven’t made my mind up yet regarding the 2015 candidacies, (but) I were to choose, I would be part of a political space that actually needs me,” the three-time governor of Córdoba said, ruling out the chance of competing in the PASO primaries as part of a Peronist Party (PJ) formula and against pro-government candidates such as Scioli, Interior and Transport Minister Florencio Randazzo or Entre Ríos provincial leader Sergio Urribarri.

“One popular political party, the PJ, is a boot-licking force that does not dare to criticize” the president, the Córdoba governor fired last week.

De la Sota did not oppose the early years of the administration of late former president Néstor Kirchner, but distrusted Kirchner’s decision to approach Córdoba City Mayor Luis Juez — De la Sota’s local rival — after the 2005 midterms.

Disapproval led to resentment when Kirchnerite sectors backed Juez’s gubernatorial bid in 2007 instead of closing ranks behind De la Sota’s political heir, Deputy Governor Juan Schiaretti. Two years later, he took the side of farmers during the lockout over soybean taxes, which marked a point of no return for both De la Sota and the national government.

Herald with DyN, Télam

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