Were two photos in one day. They charted peace at a time when tensions grew to disturbing levels. Will they be much more than one staging flavored with electoral convenience? No one knows how long the truces reached on “Super Tuesday” by the leaders of the PRO and the National Board of Together for Change, but they served at least for curb a dynamic of friction that threatened to lead to ruptures or irreversible fights before the great challenge of 2023.
On the one hand, the PRO’s breakfast was extremely calm and ended with a agreement to implement a mechanism to avoid “unnecessary tensions”: each presidential candidate (Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, Patricia Bullrich and María Eugenia Vidal) will designate a representative to coordinate the different positions without reaching declared fights and iron out rough edges before that they transcend
It could be considered a huge advance were it not for the fact that a scheme identical it was attempted last May by the head of government and the head of the PRO when they agreed on a “red bridge” between the two after the short circuits due to the controversial statement of Together for Change that blocked the way to the libertarian Javier Miles. Since then, the larretista Fernando Straface and the bullrich Gerard Milman were assigned the mission of being in permanent contact and dilute the hotbeds of conflict.
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As the weeks went by, however, this preventive instance of fights went away. disintegrating. Straface and Milman they stopped talking fit proportional to the confrontations that were growing between Larreta and Bullrich. It was noticed the failure of that mechanism when the two starred in the bitter dispute over the security operation of the Buenos Aires government before the house of Cristina Kirchner, that ended with a direct fight at a PRO lunch, full of reproaches and accusations (and with Mauricio Macri not intervening). Why now believe that something similar will work at the stage more decisive of the race to determine who will win the presidential candidacy of the PRO?
It could be said that the photo of the pacifying breakfast will serve to gain time and prevent their all-or-nothing battle from ending up leading more votes to the libertarian Javier Miles, but no one dares to ensure that its result is definitive. Even so, it is not little if one considers that the Larreta-Bullrich confrontation seemed to worsen to the extreme after the spread of the video in which the owner of the PRO threatens to “break his face” to the Buenos Aires chief of staff, Philip Michael.
In the morning meeting, the PRO leaders agreed postpone the definition of the candidatures March or April. But the candidacies of down, not the presidential ones”, clarified a partisan referent. It’s maintains the scenario that explained Christian Ritondo after breakfast: “Today our candidates for president are Patricia Bullrich, María Eugenia Vidal and Horacio Rodríguez Larreta.” Does that definitively exclude Macri? No one said it, starting with the former president himself, who never confirmed or denied his application and whose environment suggested that he would define in March 2023.
Three of the leaders who participated in the last PRO lunches were not present at yesterday’s breakfast: Federico Angelini, Fernando de Andreis and Jorge Macri. The last two absences are understood as one concession of the former president towards the mayor of Buenos Aires: the Minister of Government of the City has just closed a electoral agreement with Bullrich and De Andreis, ultramacrista, is his campaign manager. And Rodríguez Larreta has decided to keep him in his position, but punish him with a deal icy. It was counterproductive for him to be in a match meant to pacify the weather in the PRO.
Regardless of what happens with the agreed anti-conflict mechanism, it will be difficult for the PRO leaders to meet again until after the end of the year: in his capacity as executive president of the FIFA Foundation, Mauricio Macri is traveling to Qatar for the World Cup Football, which ends on December 18. Then come the Christmas and New Year holidays. Only in January can breakfast, lunch or dinner be resumed. will be missing two months for the former president to define what he will do in 2023.
Macri, on the other hand, reappeared this Tuesday at the meetings of the National Board of Together for Change, where he stopped going on March 27. It was not a return to full orchestra: after so many months of absence, his peers affirmed that he remained silent throughout the Zoom. Those who know him say that the former president he does not believe that these meetings have some concrete result, above all because there is never a lack Gerard Morales, the head of the UCR, that allied force that awakens the distrust of the former president for his “populist reflexes”. “It is better to be absent than to fight” was Macri’s motto. Will your new slogan of his be “It is better to be silent than to argue”?
The National Table of PvC will resume in the coming weeks your pace of meetings fortnightly, surely without the presence of Macri. The coalition’s challenge is to show much more than a photo in a key stage, where the socioeconomic crisis and the political conflicts of the Front of Everything would require an opposition united beyond the formality to face what comes in tune with the needs of the people. The postcards achieved on the “super Tuesday” of the PRO and Together for Change look good, but not enough alone to win the elections. And less, to govern well.