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May 28, 2017
Friday, May 19, 2017

Peronist jockeying heats up as Randazzo makes his move

Florencio Randazzo has sent his strongest public signal yet that he intends to compete in this year’s provincial elections, saying that he feels “compelled” to be a candidate in a move that has kickstarted Peronist jockeying ahead of primaries scheduled for later this year.

A minister under former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who declined to run for governor of Buenos Aires in 2015 after he was dissuaded from participating in the Victory Front’s (FpV) presidential primary, Randazzo has been a somewhat withdrawn political figure since President Mauricio Macri was inaugurated as head of state and has instead been cobbling support from figures in the Buenos Aires Justicialist Party (PJ).

The possibility of Randazzo entering the race, despite his relatively low poll numbers so far, has revived the internal divisions within various factions — Kirchnerite, moderates, and even in Sergio Massa’s Renewal Front. A PJ meeting, billed as part of an effort to attain unity, that was not attended by a group of Buenos Aires mayors set tongues wagging this week as figure such as Luis D’Elía and Amado Boudou were singled out for being unable to provide “renewal” by the mayors. D’Elía responded with insults and vowed a defeat would follow for Peronists if they aligned themselves with Randazzo, arguing that a primary between Fernández de Kirchner and her former minister would go her way.

In turn, Randazzo picked up the support of Héctor Daer, a member of the CGT triumvirate and until this week a core supporter of Massa’s. The FR lawmaker, a former Cabinet chief to Fernández de Kirchner, has competed with his own party instead of the PJ in recent years is not yet ready to make a formal return to the Justicialists and has had to take measures to retain Felipe Solá within his fold.

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