Alberto Fernández holds a meeting this Wednesday with the eight governors and two vice governors of the North, in Chilecito, La Rioja. Presidential sources reported that there is an agreement between the provincial leaders to suspend the PASO in their districts. The news comes a day after Gustavo Sáenz, from Salta, present at the summit, called the general elections in his province for July 4, a decision that fell badly in the bosom of the Executive.
Despite the unchecking of massista Sáenz, Raúl Jalil (La Rioja), Jorge Capitanich (Chaco), Gustavo Valdés (Corrientes), Gildo Insfrán (Formosa), Gerardo Morales (Jujuy), Ricardo Quintela (La Rioja) and Juan Manzur (Tucumán ) insisted with the request that they made explicit on December 4, when the President signed the fiscal pact with them. Official sources report that Sáenz accompanies the request.
The governors argue that in August – full winter – when the STEP would be held according to the electoral calendar, they will meet in the middle of the vaccination campaign against the coronavirus and going through the effects of the second wave of the pandemic. The head of state asked them to process the request through Congress. The ad hoc project of the tucuman Pablo Yedlin sleep for now in the lower house and it was not included by the Executive in the extraordinary sessions.
The measure was not accompanied by all the ruling party nor does it have the approval of Together for Change for now and the rest of the opposition, beyond the two radical leaders who met this Wednesday with Fernández (Morales and Valdés).
10 days ago, Capitanich from Chaco passed through the Casa Rosada and insisted with the request before the Interior Minister Eduardo “Wado” de Pedro and the Chief of Cabinet Santiago Cafiero. In the Government they affirm that, with a health emergency, there are no deadlines to suspend the STEP and until a few weeks ago they ruled out the one-time cancellation.
“The province of Buenos Aires does not want; Santa Fe, either. It is difficult without those votes for a law that requires a special majority,” whitewashed one of the legislators who works in that direction.
In the first case it is even more complicated. It would not make sense to suspend the national PASO if there are primaries in the Province – the main electoral district of the country. The Buenos Aires Senate is controlled by the opposition. Near the President they de-dramatize. “If there is a health crisis, who is going to defend the primaries. María Eugenia Vidal? That also has a political cost,” they reasoned.
Without the executive decree to include it in extraordinary, the northern governors will have to wait until March at least. The governors unified their claims in a previous meeting, without the presence of the President.
The meeting with Fernández in La Rioja also involves the vice-governors of the province of Misiones, Carlos Arce, and of Santiago del Estero, José Emilio Neder; who would also accompany the request for suspension.
The rest of the agenda
In the second alternate capital visited by the President and the Cabinet – the first was Río Grande, in December – the governors asked to pay a differential price for electricity, because they are the ones who consume the most and those who pay the most. The Northeast provinces have very little connection to the national gas network. A large percentage of the Northwest, meanwhile, does not have domestic gas either.
The governors also asked for more assistance with credits through the Trust Fund and asked for solutions to lower the cost of transportation. In addition, it was agreed to work on an infrastructure agenda with a bi-oceanic corridor. There was also talk of a program to reduce the payment of employer contributions for new jobs that will allow 65 thousand jobs to be recovered and add 250 thousand jobs.