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October 21, 2014
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Carrió insists on PRO deal as Solanas balks

UCR chairman Ernesto Sanz is seen alongside UNEN lawmaker Elisa Carrió yesterday.

UCR Chairman Sanz sides with firebrand UNEN leader as Macri dismisses unity

Firebrand UNEN lawmaker Elisa Carrió insisted yesterday on the need to “transcend party lines” as she promoted a UNEN-PRO electoral alliance that has generated strong resistance within the members of her coalition, saying the most important thing is to beat Peronism.

Nonetheless, Buenos Aires City Mayor Mauricio Macri’s PRO sent mixed signals regarding a possible electoral alliance with Carrió and UNEN. Macri himself insisted no discussions had taken place.

Meanwhile, an official statement released yesterday by the non-Peronist coalition insisted on saying that the political force remains “united.”

Continued internal crossfire

Carrió maintained her usual confrontational approach yesterday, going so far as to say that electoral ally Fernando “Pino” Solanas’ rejection of a possible alliance constitutes a disrespectful attitude towards those voters who trusted that the party would do whatever it takes in order to win next year’s election — even if that means sealing a deal with PRO.

“For me, the adversary is that corrupt Peronist party that has ruled the country for more than 20 years,” she added.

Controversy erupted Monday night after she walked out of a UNEN launch in Buenos Aires City as Solanas was strongly dismissing any convergence with “modern right-wing parties.” However, she also tempered her comments during a TV interview with Clarín Group’s TN news channel, saying that she was “not leaving UNEN.” In line with the party’s general opinion, she stressed that the newly-created alliance reamins united.

Nevertheless, she defined her walking out as Solanas spoke at Monday’s act as a “gesture,” symbolizing respect towards the voters.

Supporters

Fellow UNEN leaders Martín Lousteau and Ernesto Sanz had a similar position to Carrió. Although Lousteau acknowledges that there are “undeniable differences” within the party, he defended Carrió’s reaction earlier this week, criticizing Solanas’ efforts to “define UNEN” and the alliances that they can or cannot seal.

“Those things must be discussed, that’s what the open primaries are for,” Lousteau, who has long favoured an alliance with Macri, said.

Sanz took a similar line. Regarding the construction of a larger coalition, the UCR chairman stated yesterday he was closer to “Carrió’s point of view,” adding that “the real discussion is not whether it is ‘left’ or ‘right,’ it goes more along the lines of ‘decadent populism’ vs ‘Republic and progress.’”

Solanas for his part criticized Carrió’s behaviour, deeming it an “intolerant” attitude.

“I would never abandon an event in the middle of a speech,” said an upset Solanas during an interview with Radio Mitre. Nevertheless, he then joined the bandwagon of saying that everything was fine. Still, he highlighted that — for him — the “limit” of alliances was marked by Macri’s party and the ruling Victory Front (FpV).

Mixed PRO signals

The PRO’s official response to the internal turmoil within the Broad Front-UNEN was mixed, with the most enthusiastic voice in favour of an approach between the PRO and the Broad Front-UNEN coming from Senator Gabriela Michetti.

Macri, however, added that the PRO is seeking a “new and different way of engaging in politics” and that his party should not “enter spaces where it does not belong.”

Macri went on to add that “there is no kind of dialogue” with Carrió.

Michetti referred to the possibility of a joint party primary between the PRO and the Broad Front-UNEN at the national level as a “good tool, it doesn’t bother me. I think it’s a good tool for the City so I think the same at the national level.” At the same time, she added that “for now there isn’t demand among the people for such a primary... we need to work a bit more on the content first.”

In a nod to the fact that Macri and UCR party lawmaker Oscar Aguad toured the city of Marcos Juárez in Córdoba province as part of a municipal electoral deal between their respective parties, Michetti added that Aguad, Lousteau and Carrió “are not seen by the people as so different from Macri.”

Michetti has also recently gone on record saying that Sanz would be a good vice-presidential candidate to accompany Macri in the 2015 presidential elections.

— Herald staff with DyN, Télam

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