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Scioli takes swipe at Massa

BA Governor Daniel Scioli is pictured alongside his wife, Karina Rabolini, before heading a rally yesterday.

BA Governor heads a rally with provincial officials in La Plata

Buenos Aires Governor Daniel Scioli is already campaigning for next year’s presidential elections and yesterday targeted the man believed to be his main contender, Renewal Front leader Sergio Massa.

“It is not the same to run 26 ports in all the province than running Tigre’s port,” Scioli said yesterday in a rally held in the city of La Plata, where he was seen along with his Lieutenant governor, Gabriel Mariotto, a staunch Kirchnerite.

Last month, Scioli said that he thought he could contrast well against with BA City Mayor Mauricio Macri in the 2015 elections, displacing Massa from the electoral battle. But things seem to have changed and yesterday Scioli launched an attack against the former Tigre mayor.

Making reference to municipal officials, Scioli said that mayors had the chance to make an impact but they should not forget that they were helped by the national and provincial governments. Last year, Massa launched the Renewal Front, gathering several mayors who used to be within the Kirchnerite ranks. Nowadays, Massa is flirting with his main contender in last year’s legislative elections, Martín Insaurralde, who is also thought to be Scioli’s dauphin. Insaurralde is reportedly thinking of moving from the ruling Victory Front (FpV) to Massa’s Renewal Front but is still on good terms with the governor.

Scioli headed the rally in the Argentine Theatre in the city of La Plata along his wife, Karina Rabolini and the head of the provincial Justicialist Party, La Matanza Mayor Fernando Espinoza.

In the ceremony, Scioli made it clear that his candidacy meant the continuity of the Kirchnerite decade.

“We do not have to start again.I think that in the province and in the nation real change is not changing everything. Change means amending what is wrong to move forward,” he added.

Though Mariotto’s presence in the rally could be seen as a sign of Kirchnerite support, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has not expressed her preference yet as there are seven Kirchnerite hopefuls already running to replace her, including Scioli as well as Interior and Transport Minister Florencio Randazzo, Defence Minister Agustín Rossi, former Foreign minister Jorge Taiana, Senator Aníbal Fernández, Lower House Speaker Julián Domínguez, Salta Governor Juan Manuel Urtubey and Entre Ríos Governor Sergio Urribarri.

Last year, Scioli admitted that he wanted to replace Fernández de Kirchner at the Pink House but that confession triggered a heated controversy with the head of state and staunch Kirchnerites, who accused Scioli of not being energetic enough in the defence of the so-called national project. A cease-fire was agreed to when the president had to undergo a surgery and Scioli took a leading role in accompanying Insaurralde during the campaign.

So far opinion polls show that Massa and Scioli are the candidates with the best chances of becoming the new president next year. Macri insists that the PRO party is making progress while his contenders are stalled.

Renewal Front criticism

Allies of Massa yesterday responded to Scioli’s criticism. “It is not the same to be courageous than to be a doormat,” San Miguel Mayor Joaquín de la Torre said.

“They (Kirchnerites) have to put an end to crime but they are not brave enough to do it,” the mayor highlighted.

Last year, Scioli appointed Ezeiza mayor Alejandro Granados to lead the provincial Security Ministry and sponsored the creation of municipal police forces, which was Massa’s hobby-horse during last year’s campaign. But the Renewal Front refused to approve the bill and Scioli issued a decree to create the new forces that will give more power to mayors.

Provincial legislator Ramiro Gutiérrez also criticized the provincial leader.

“Scioli should go to school to learn some things about the province he is running,” Massa’s legislator said.

Herald with DyN, Online Media

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