The issue of former president-cum-Senator Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s place in a possible electoral alliance continues hindering attempts at unity within the Peronist movement.
Sergio Massa — who was CFK’s former Cabinet Chief, albeit briefly — refused to send representatives from his Renewal Front movement to a meeting scheduled for today (Thursday) at the Metropolitan University (UMET) where Kirchernite leaders will surely flex their muscles: in other word the 30 percent of votes that the CFK ticket scored in Buenos Aires province during the October mid-terms.
Across the motley crew of ideas and leadership styles within the Peronist movement, there is a clear understanding of the need to form electoral alliances well before the 2019 presidential and general elections.
“We’re not sending any representative from our movement because we believe it is not the time to discuss electoral issues”, Renewal Front sources told the LetraP news platform. RF lawmakers Daniel Arroyo and Felipe Solá will attend but “on personal grounds”, the sources added.
Massa is believed to be keen on an alliance with moderate Peronist leaders like Juan Manuel Urtubey. If he and other presidential hopefuls cannot secure a broad Peronist alliance, the possibility of defeating Mauricio Macri’s Cambiemos coalition at the ballot box is next to none and Massa's political capital all but spent. (Massa currently holds no political position after ending his term in the Lower House in December and failing to secure a Senate seat)
Mass’s refusal to pact with CFK is backed by his bloc’s Congressional leader, the powerful Graciela Camaño, and his 2017 electoral ally Margarita Stolbizer, who would likely split from Massa if the movement were to seal a deal with the controversial former president. Fernández de Kirchner is set to spend much of 2018 fighting court cases involving alleged corruption and cover-ups.
The situation is a win-win for Cambiemos which benefits greatly from a divided Peronist movement and which has had no trouble presenting Massa as an extension of Fernández de Kirchner given his roles as her former Cabinet chief and head of the ANSES welfare body.