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Inicio arrow Análisis arrow Argentina arrow Argentine Political Outlook (Nov-06-18)

Argentine Political Outlook (Nov-06-18) PDF Imprimir E-Mail
Nov-06-18, by Rosendo Fraga
 

1. Political parties in Argentina are taking on "Bolsonaro's appriach", limiting the chances for an "anti-politics" leader to assume it. Two days after the second round of the Brazilian election, President Mauricio Macri called for limiting immigration and speeding up the deportation of criminals. Then, the Minister of Security, Patricia Bullrich, echoed the proposal of the President-elect of Brazil, that citizens can be armed to defend themselves against crime, saying "whoever wants to be armed, let him be armed." He also said that the tightening of the security and immigration policy of the Macri Administration was "prior" to the emergence of Bolsonaro. But the reality is that one of the government's five objectives for this presidential term, which is still in force, is to limit weapons owned by individuals and that the 2019 budget will allocate 113 million pesos to the state agency responsible for preventing individuals from carrying weapons without authorization. The speech that hardens the conditions for immigration and demands reciprocity from bordering countries, has been raised by the national senator Miguel Pichetto for two years, but the Bolsonaro triumph, strengthened his position. An anti-K PJ member, characterized by his political opportunism, Sergio Massa, said this week that "Bolsonaro defends Brazilians." This leaves little room for independent leaders, such as a congress member from Salta (Olmedo) - son of one of the most important soybean farmers in the north - to assume this position successfully, self-defined as the "Argentine Bolsonaro." Only Kirchnerism refuses to take a "heavy hand" on security and immigration matters. 

2. With half approval by the Lower House, the Executive gives priority to the final approval of the budget at the Senate. On Tuesday, Nov 6, Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio will advocate the bill to obtain the Commission's report the next day, so the Upper House could give final approval on Nov 14. But it is still actively negotiated. The Peronist governors show divisions regarding the annulment of the "Sovereign Fund" that eight of them claim. The government rejects this request and insists that the issue was resolved with the increase in the share of co-participation of the provinces, 4 billion pesos were transferred. In addition, the Federal PJ presided over by Pichetto has split in half - although not formally - between those who respond to the "hard" governors the "pro-dialogue" sector. Some governors - such as Manzur from Tucumán - have lost control of their two senators for the vote, because they respond to former governor Alperovich, who will contest next year's government election. There are four other provinces - in addition to Tucumán - in which the division between the PJ and Kirchnerism has been formalized: San Luis, Santa Fe, Salta and Entre Ríos. The same phenomenon will also occur in the other provinces ruled by the PJ. The ruling party believes that along with its allies it reaches the 32 votes in senators and that the missing 4, will be given by the Federal PJ, whose 24 senators appear divided in two sub-block of 12. 

3. The electoral campaign began with the official definition of the electoral calendar, where government and politics rule. Evidence of this is that President Mauricio Macri received in the Olivos Residence the Cambiemos candidates for Mayor, who will compete in the first and third electoral round of the province of Buenos Aires - two of the eight with the highest number of voters - and his failed request that the fans of Boca and River can attend the match, was related to some announcement that was supposed to have a good electoral effect. On November 3, more than one hundred leaders of Cambiemos and 66 candidates for mayors met in Pehuajo (Province of Buenos Aires). María Eugenia Vidal's relationship with Macri seems to be back on track after the 19 billion-peso update in the suburban fund. The proposal by the anti-K PJ Alternativa Argentina composed by Schiaretti, Urtubey, Massa and Pichetto has postponed the idea of holding an "enlarged" meeting with more leaders. For her part, Cristina - whose lawyer makes a plea in her defense this week before the Federal court - gives signs of unity towards the PJ in the province of Buenos Aires, but at the same time progresses with the organization of her party Acción Ciudadana in the rest of the districts, having already obtained legal recognition in San Juan, La Rioja, Salta, Córdoba and Corrientes. 

4. While the ruling party is wrapping up the details of the G20 summit, it closely follows what happens with trade unions, the Catholic Church and the Supreme Court. The CGT Steering Committee -without the presence of Moyano's supporters who have left the workers confederation- ratified a general strike without demonstration for November 27 or 28, two days before the G20 Summit. But the 30 transport guilds under the CATT demand a 36-hour strike and they will meet on November 15 to ask for it. Pablo Moyano went to testify before prosecutor Scalella in the case of the Independent Club hooligans without being arrested for now, whereas his guild obtained an annual increase of 42%. The plenary of the Episcopate composed of all the bishops of the country gathers this week to assess the relationship with the government, the social situation and the initiative of the government to reduce the funds allocated to support religion. The relationship with the government is in tension, but both sides will avoid a break-up. The Supreme Court has to decide in the next few days whether to validate the pension reform or re-establish the previous update rate for the increase in pensions, something that would complicate the tightening that the government has committed with the IMF. The Administration is afraid that the three members of the highest court of Peronist origin (Lorenzetti, Maqueda and Rosatti) - the latter proposed by Macri - rule against the government's position. The arrival of a US SEC delegation to investigate the companies listed on Wall Street linked to corruption allegations opens a complex front for the government in times when it tries to reactivate the PPP. 

5. To conclude: 

a)     Both Cambiemos as well as the anti-K PJ are taking on Bolsonaro's "heavy-handed" approach towards crime and immigration, limiting the chances for "anti-politics" to assume it. 

b)    The "hard" peronist governors seek to negotiate until the last minute over the resources of the Soybean Fund, while the division of the PJ bloc at the Senate is an additional problem. 

c)     Led by Macri, Cambiemos has started the electoral campaign, giving priority to the Buenos Aires province, when Cristina expands her party and the anti-K PJ delays its organization. 

d)    Macri watches the actions by the unions, the Catholic Church and the Supreme Court, which have political leadership in the coming weeks.

 
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