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September 17, 2014
Monday, August 18, 2014

UNEN tries to paper over differences in Mendoza

Mendoza lawmaker Julio Cobos, Radical Senator Ernesto Sanz, UNEN lawmaker Elisa Carrió and former Santa Fe governor Hermes Binner are seen in Mendoza yesterday.

Binner, Cobos, Sanz, Carrió meet in Mendoza as Solanas continues criticism

It was certainly not the dream-like photo opportunity non-Peronists leaders had imagined to put up an image of unity and bring to an end to the infighting that had marked their week.

Yesterday’s UNEN meeting in Mendoza province to celebrate the anniversary of the death of national hero José de San Martín lacked one of its leaders: presidential hopeful Fernando “Pino” Solanas, who kept on criticizing his colleague Elisa Carrió yesterday.

“I’m an active supporter of the front’s unity, but not at any cost,” said Solanas, who blasted Carrió and other Radical party (UCR) members for trying to force an electoral deal with PRO leader Mauricio Macri in a move that he says would destroy UNEN.

Meanwhile, Carrió, Mendoza lawmaker Julio Cobos, UCR Senator Ernesto Sanz and former Santa Fe governor Hermes Binner met in the small city of Tunuyán, where they called to strengthen the non-Peronist front and vowed to take it “to every corner of the country.”

Cobos regretted that the fights seen last week “were not up to the people’s expectations” and insisted on demanding the UCR call for a general assembly to discuss potential deals with other parties.

“I’ve talked with Hermes Binner about this — we don’t want to throw away all the work we’ve done in this broad front,” the former vice-president added.

Yet the four UNEN presidential hopefuls present at the gathering pretended at least for 24 hours that the rifts did not exist as they were seen smiling as they placed a wreath at a historical site that honours San Martín.

“Broad Front-UNEN will reach the 2015 elections united and today we’re very happy,” Sanz said.

No deals with ‘highly-corrupted’ parties

Things were less rosy on the Solanas front.

“Something is going on with Carrió, she seems very upset. I think she’s lost her line,” the UNEN senator for the City told daily Página/12.

Her intention to sign a deal with the centre-right Buenos Aires City mayor amounted to “yet another provocation,” the Project South leader said. He was referring to the UNEN launch in Buenos Aires last Monday when Carrió walked out of the meeting where Solanas was dismissing any deal with “modern right-wing parties.”

Political discussion cannot be replaced by tantrums, provocation and theatralizations, he added.

Solanas — who did not attend the Mendoza meeting due to alleged health problems — described Macri’s party as “highly corrupt” and with “questionable institutional behaviour.” He said former Radical official Enrique “Coti” Nosiglia was pushing other party members to sign such a deal.

Another key UCR figure to speak his mind yesterday was lawmaker Ricardo Alfonsín.

According to Alfonsín, leaders from Broad Front-UNEN “were not working” to strengthen the space and that discussions over a PRO deal was certainly not helping the non-Peronist front.

“Conversations over this issue have always began with a number of individual statements that do not represent... the majority position of UNEN,” the son of former late president Raúl Alfonsín told Radio Mitre.

In the light of recent discussions, Alfonsín was even forced to dismiss rumours of a new deal — this time with Sergio Massa’s Renewal Front.

“UNEN meets every week and has never considered extending the alliance to other forces that do not share a common programme,” the Radical lawmaker said.

Herald staff with DyN, Télam

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