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Buenos Aires Hours | Fernández says coalition “more united than ever” as he swears in front of ministers

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President Alberto Fernández swore in a multitude of new ministers on Monday, a symbolic step in his quest to reestablish ties within his fractured Frente de Todos coalition and increase his government’s chances in the midterm elections November.

In a ceremony at Casa Rosada, the Peronist leader swore in Tucumán province Governor Juan Manzur as his new chief of staff, replacing President Santiago Cafiero’s ally, who has been criticized by a number of officials Kirchnerians loyal to Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. .

Cafiero was instead transferred to the Foreign Ministry, replacing veteran politician Felipe Solá.

The president also took the oath of the new ministers of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Julián Domínguez; from Security, Aníbal Fernández; from Education, Jaime Perczyk; and Science and Technology, Daniel Filmus.

“We are passing the time of the pandemic. I ask each of them [the new minister] to use all their strength. The solution is that we are more united than ever to face what is needed. They won’t see me caught up in unnecessary arguments, internal disputes, ”the president said in a brief speech before swearing in to the new officials.

The event took place just eight days after the Peronist coalition suffered a heavy defeat in the OSP primaries, with the Frente de Todos getting just 31% of the vote nationwide and losing in 17 provinces to to the opposition.

The cabinet changes are an attempt to reduce the political crisis triggered by this outcome, with the reshuffle coming just a day after Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner called for a cabinet overhaul in an open letter that blamed Fernández for the bad result in the vote.

The vice-president, who had chosen Fernández to lead his Peronist coalition for the 2019 presidential elections, called the mid-term primaries a “political catastrophe” caused by his economic strategy. She criticized him for his lack of social spending, adding pressure on Fernandez even as he seeks to renegotiate a $ 45 billion loan with the International Monetary Fund.

In the letter, she said she proposed Manzur for the post of chief of staff during a face-to-face conversation with Fernandez earlier in the week.

Fernández returned to Buenos Aires on Monday after spending the weekend in the province of La Rioja. In addition to meeting many local and national officials, the president spent the weekend in Chilecito, the town where his adoptive father was born.

The government is expected to announce a series of new economic measures this week to support low-income workers, retirees and retirees. They were delayed by the political crisis that hit the government last week.

Provincial policy

Manzur’s departure from his duties at Tucumán, meanwhile, was far from smooth. There are reports that negotiations with Deputy Governor Osvaldo Jaldo over the leave of the outgoing provincial leader have dragged on, mainly because the duo had to resume dialogue after apparently not having spoken for months.

The two leaders, from two different currents of Peronism that clashed during the recent PASO primaries, are said to be at the origin of an agreement that will see the factions of the movement unite in the provincial legislature to approve the Manzur’s request for leave.

In an impromptu press conference on Monday, Jaldo said their “major differences have been clarified” and the two sides “are acting accordingly.”

Denying reports that President Fernández offered him a post in the national government, the deputy governor said the president contacted him before the talks with Manzur.

The passage of the leader of Tucumán to the national government has not gone unnoticed by local opposition leaders either.

The mayor of Concepción, Roberto Sánchez, of Mauricio Macri’s PRO party, called the appointment of the new chief of staff an “inconsistency” for the national government.

“In Tucumán [Province], over 60 percent of children are poor, ”the PRO party politician observed in an interview with CNN Radio, saying that provincial politicians were dominated by“ patronage ”.

Journalist Daniel Dessien, director of La Gaceta de Tucumán, told the same radio that “Manzur and Jaldo had been in conflict for six months over the dispute over the post of governor in 2023”, alleging that the outgoing governor “wanted to reform the constitution in order to be re-elected” and did not had not talked to each other.

“Manzur wants to be President of the Nation,” Dessien said.

– TIME / PERFIL

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