Massa and Kirchnerite allies to faceoffSunday, August 31, 2014
Santiago del Estero votes today
The Santiago Civic Front, Senate Provisional President Gerardo Zamora’s party, and local allies of Sergio Massa’s Renewal Front (FR) are set to faceoff at the municipal level today in Santiago del Estero province in the lead-up to the 2015 presidential elections.
Attention will be most heavily focused on the provincial capital and La Banda, the two most populous districts in the province. Zamora is a political ally of the ruling Victory Front (FpV) and is second in the presidential line of succession due to his position in the Senate. His wife, Santiago del Estero Governor Caudia Ledesma Abdala, has also been campaigning hard ahead of the elections.
Héctor Eduardo “Chabay” Ruiz, a former Kirchnerite ally at the head of the La Banda district will be running for councillor with the backing of Sergio Massa, who attended his campaign’s closing ceremonies. Massa has been basing his presidential bid on slowly picking up municipal support across the country.
Ruiz will be challenging seven other political forces for the chance to win a place as a municipal councillor but most important is current provincial Education Minister Mariela Nassif, a Zamora ally.
In the city of Santiago del Estero, incumbent Mayor Hugo Infante of the Santiago Civic Front is facing a challenge from a coalition candidate in the form of Francisco Cavallotti, dauphin to former governor Carlos Juárez.
Nearly 500,000 voters will decide today either to confirm the province’s political course or its complete opposite.
City council races
The race for Santiago del Estero’s City Council seats will also be contested between the country’s main political forces. The ruling party’s rival Frente Cruzada Santiagueña has presented a list headed by the secretary-general of the Municipal Workers’ Union Carlos Casagrande, who will be joined by María Stella Aprile and journalist Alberto David (father of the TV show host Pamela David).
The centre-right PRO party, which is headed nationwide by Buenos Aires City Mayor Mauricio Macri, will field Rodrigo Posse, Graciela Anahí Corbalán Orbuj and Italo Orlando Cioccolani for the City Council, while real estate broker Gustavo Pérez Leiros will run for mayor.
Sergio Massa’s Renewal Front will also be present in the election for City Council members. Massa’s front will carry on the ballot Francisco Manuel Muñoz, Natalia Paola Sosa and Daniel Amado Nassif. Media mogul Frederik Molina will try his luck for mayor.
The centrist Broad Front-UNEN coalition will feature René Loto, Patricia Nuñez and Alejandro Parnás for the City Council and engineer Marcelo Lugones for mayor.
This election could gain specia attention after President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner threw her weight behind the idea of moving the country’s capital to Santiago del Estero last Tuesday, a project that was only pioneered by Lower House Speaker Julián Domínguez. This unexpected proposal “for a new territorial design in a changing world” came during a visit aimed at inaugurating infrastructure works.
This marked the first time that a serving president has proposed a change of capital since Raúl Alfonsín announced the transfer of the seat of government to the Río Negro coastal town of Viedma in 1986 (an initiative that never came to fruition).
Herald staff with Télam