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Scioli sees direct contest with Macri in 2015

BA Governor Daniel Scioli inaugurates public works on Thursday.
BA Governor plays down rumours of Insaurralde’s move to Renewal Front

With more than a year to go to the general elections, Buenos Aires Governor Daniel Scioli imagines himself in a runoff with BA City Mayor Mauricio Macri, he admitted yesterday.

“Next year’s presidential elections will probably be polarized,” Scioli said a day after he sent his allies in the Kirchnerite Victory Front a message that he was willing to start campaigning to replace President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner at the Pink House.

“Two different views and projects will be confronted, though I am on good terms with Mauricio,” Scioli said, making it clear that he did not share the centre-right PRO leader’s ideology.

“I represent a Peronist project willing to create a front,” the governor explained.

Macri’s PRO Senator Diego Santilli criticized Scioli saying: “We are only interested in placing Macri as a presidential candidate. We are not interested in polarization.”

Thus far Scioli and Macri have launched their campaign to stand as presidential candidates. Though not formally in the race yet, Renewal Front leader Sergio Massa will be the third contender, it is believed.

Since he won the legislative elections in Buenos Aires province in October last year, Massa has repeatedly avoided to present himself as his party’s presidential candidate.

Before last year’s PASO primaries, it was reported that Scioli was negotiating with Massa his move to the recently created Renewal Front and that at the very last minute he decided not to leave the ruling Victory Front (FpV). Then the governor took a leading role in the campaign, accompanying FpV candidate Martín Insaurralde in the majority of the rallies when Fernández de Kirchner had to undergo head surgery to drain a clot lodged in her skull.

Insaurralde is now dividing waters in the Renewal Front. After it was reported that he was analyzing joining Massa’s party, the former Tigre Mayor’s allies raised their voices to express their opposition. Renewal Front lawmakers Darío Giustozzi and Felipe Solá were those who were disturbed by the news that Insaurralde is set to join Massa’s camp. Both of them have already expressed their intention to run for Buenos Aires province governor in 2015.

Scioli yesterday tried to play down the rumours about the defection, but he admitted he had not been in touch with the former Lomas de Zamora mayor recently.

“I appreciate Martín. I am respectful of the decisions that each leader takes. I am focused on putting more police officers on the beat, protecting employment. That’s my agenda,” Scioli said in reference to Insaurralde.

After last year’s defeat, it was said that Insaurralde did not want to take his Lower House of Congress seat and that Scioli was going to designate him to head a ministry, a move that did not happen.

No farming-sector allies — yet

Scioli has been flirting with the Small Farmers Federation (FAA) leader Eduardo Buzzi to join him for his campaign in 2015.

“Eduardo is a person who knows the farming sector very well and I am trying to get the aid of experts,” Scioli said. Nevertheless, Buzzi said he wouldn’t take the offer as long as Scioli is part of Kirchnerism.

— Herald staff with DyN, Ámbito.com

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