September 18, 2014
UNEN fails to hide internal differences at rally
Leaders of non-Peronist front appear in BA City, argue publicly over PRO deal
Tensions between leaders of the centre-right PRO party and Broad Front-UNEN re-emerged yesterday following statements over the weekend by PRO Senator Gabriela Michetti that a leader of the non-Peronist front Elisa Carrió “could clearly be part” of a political space led by Buenos Aires City Mauricio Macri.
This new exchange of words came as UNEN leaders re-launched their alliance in the City at a rally in downtown Buenos Aires where some of the front’s leaders took the opportunity to blast a potential accord.
“Those taking pains (to justify such a deal) have no place in UNEN,” Senator Fernando “Pino” Solanas told reporters last night minutes before taking part in a rally held at the City’s Rodríguez Peña Palace alongside Carrió and other officials who support the possibility of joining forces with PRO for 2015. “We were born to face both PRO and Kirchnerism, so this story has nothing to do with UNEN,” Solanas insisted.
The Project South lawmaker was hardly the only leader fraught with distrust at the mere thought of a PRO-UNEN deal.
PRO Senator Diego Santilli, who last year shared the party’s ballot in the City with Michetti, said the party only wants “to keep building” power from within and is not looking to join forces with anyone.
“We’re working to build a political alternative for the 2015 elections, we’re not searching for any kind of electoral deals,” Santilli told Radio América. “We’re working along that line — not struggling to clinch a deal or alliance (with other parties).”
‘Dont pressure me from the left’
Carrió, one of the main advocates of securing an alliance with Macri’s party, yesterday seemed disgruntled with those statements — especially when they came from her allies.
“Don’t pressure me from the left,” she warned other leaders who opposed a deal with PRO.
She was taking aim at Solanas — the other main candidate in the UNEN ticket during last year’s elections in the City — but also at Socialist lawmaker Roy Cortina, who yesterday said those who wanted to join forces with the City mayor were “masochists.”
Last week, lawmaker Gustavo Vera left UNEN after citing “serious mafia-like events” in the City and an “unjustifiable shift” in Carrió’s stance against the PRO administration.
There have been “some strange votes” in the City legislature, Vera told the A24 news channel while announcing he was leaving UNEN to form his own bloc called “Del Bien Común.”
Crisis in La Pampa
The ongoing flirtation between PRO and non-Peronist forces had its own example in La Pampa province, after national lawmaker Francisco Torroba — who is part of an UNEN-like front called Frente Pampeano Cívico y Social de La Pampa (FrePam) — called for PRO leaders to be brought to the front.
Torroba, a former mayor of Santa Rosa, called to “broaden the FrePam to offer a valid alternative for 2015” by inviting PRO representative Carlos Mac Allister, a former soccer player, who mustered almost 20 percent of the votes at last year’s midterms and put PRO as the third electoral force in the district.
This prompted a response from the Socialist Party and the FreGen (former members of the progressive Frepaso front), who called to continue building a centre-left alternative and blasted Torroba’s intention for lack of “ideological coherence.”