Axel Kicillof is waiting for the national government’s definition to consider suspending PASO

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Alberto Fernández and Axel Kicillof
Alberto Fernández and Axel Kicillof

The governor of the province of Buenos Aires, axel kiclow, referred this Tuesday to the possibility of suspending the PASO – as already defined by some provinces – for next year’s elections with the Justification of the expenses incurred. The Buenos Aires native distanced himself from the discussion but warned that “it’s a debate that’s going on”. The province has the particularity have a law that specifically states that the primary elections for governor, congressmen, senators, mayors and city councilors are held on the same day as the national primarybasically tying him to what’s happening in Congress.

“We are bound by our PASO law to the national government, to the national PASO, with the It’s a debate that needs to take place in the National Congress because that’s where we would see what would happen if Congress decides to suspend this year’s PASO or whatever it decides“, assured the governor this Tuesday from La Plata, after leading the signing of an agreement between UNICEF, the province and the municipalities to strengthen measures to guarantee the rights of children and young people.

In a news conference, the President admitted that “several governors have raised it in their provinces” but that “it cannot be an independent provincial decision”. It happens that in Buenos Aires the simultaneous and obligatory open primaries are regulated by Law 14086, which in Article 2 states: “When the national executive proclaims national primaries for President and Vice-President and/or MERCOSUR MPs and/or o National and/or conventional constituent deputies, the date of the compulsory and simultaneous provincial primaries will be held on the same day”. Indeed, this was the point that the former governor of Buenos Aires tried – unsuccessfully – to change Maria Eugenia Vidal when an attempt was made between the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 to decouple the state elections from the federal elections. At that time progress was being made towards the formation of a bicameral, which held a few meetings to assess the feasibility of the modification. However, the decision of the then national government left no room for maneuver for the strategy of the Buenos Aires government.

Mauricio Macri and María Eugenia Vidal during a tour of the city of La Plata months ago
Mauricio Macri and María Eugenia Vidal during a tour of the city of La Plata months ago

For now, Salta and San Juan have already decided that there will be no primaries. The province of Buenos Aires is central because of its own electoral weight: in the 2019 elections it represented the 37% of the national registry. There is a behind-closed-door line within the ruling party that considers the suspension of the primary for this election to be acceptable. The official argument has to do with “expenses”, which is what they imply. Behind this argument are sectors on the renovation front, in line with the budget balancing plan promoted by the nation’s secretary of commerce and political space leader Serge Massathat’s what they suggest This is not the time for such an issue. On Monday, the mayor of San Vicente from the Frente de Todos Nicholas Mantegazza, He said that “it is being considered that in this economic context there is an opportunity to simplify election costs in order to reduce costs” and that the government’s definitions are being followed.

Meanwhile, the governor also recalled that the former president Maurice Macri spoke on the subject: “I saw a statement from Macri saying he was absolutely against PASO. Obviously, I believe it is a debate that needs to be heard in detail,” he said, again delegating ultimate responsibility to Congress. “It’s not a provincial spring, I hope our national representatives in Congress will,” he said.

The existence of a separate law for the primaries outlines two scenarios for the Buenos Aires executive branch. One is to abide by the rule that the definition must go through Congress, and another – more cumbersome but possible – is Try to change the provincial PASO law and allow the suspension in this way by the Buenos Aires legislature which would include the election of candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, provincial representatives and senators, mayors, city councilors and school advisers. In the legislature, the figures are adjusted for the ruling party, particularly in the Buenos Aires Senate, where there are 23 official seats and 23 opposition seats and the FdT inevitably needs the opposition, which has already warned against it, at least legislatively. Nevertheless, Executive pressure from mayors can speed up the process. The memory of the amendment to the indefinite re-election law, which was finally sealed in an agreement between pro-government and opposition community leaders that was transferred to the legislature and voted on at the last session of last year, is fresh.

Kicillof joined the mayors of Buenos Aires this Tuesday at the signing of agreements with UNICEF representative in Argentina Luisa Brumana
Kicillof joined the mayors of Buenos Aires this Tuesday at the signing of agreements with UNICEF representative in Argentina Luisa Brumana

Gradually, the topic became established in the political leadership. To the provincial mayors – officials and oppositionists – of Buenos Aires They are not “very happy” with the conduct of the primary elections and especially with an executive election. But in some municipalities there are sectors of the Frente de Todos that cling to the mechanism, such as La Matanza. Infobae had reported the intention of the provincial deputy and leader of the Evita movement, Patricia coveredto urge PASO to oppose the structure of the mayor of this district – the one with the greatest electoral weight in the province – Fernando Spinoza.

The national government denied through the Spokesman, Gabriela Cerutithat they are considering suspending the PASO for next year’s elections. However, there are some sectors of the ruling party that are encouraged to put it up for debate. “There are many counties that go to PASO in a single ballot, like it’s one big poll. What sense does it make to set up a whole electoral structure for this? It is estimated (and demanding) $20 billion from the budget. Wouldn’t another system be more intelligent to regulate candidatures?” remarked, for example, the Front of All national deputy for the province of Buenos Aires, Victoria Tolosa PazDays ago.


Victoria Tolosa Paz Speaks on Possible PASO Suspension: “It’s Healthy to Discuss the Electoral System”
Patricia Bullrich: “I hope they don’t shut down the PASO, what’s happening in the province is terrible”
Distrust over the possibility of PASO’s suspension became a new obstacle to government-opposition dialogue

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