Is he congressional power scheme what is played in these elections 2021. In Deputies, the Government will seek to add seats to get closer to the quorum, which would allow it to unblock projects that were stopped. In the Senate -where the block Cristina Kirchner already has its own majority – the challenge is not subtract senators to sustain that superiority.
The goals of the opposition are exactly the reverse. “We are 7 seats away from being Venezuela”, repeat like a mantra the referents of Together for Change in the lower house, who want to prevent the Front of All win lawmakers, as they get excited about adding their own in the upper house.
The roads in the middle, increasingly smoothed, ask for balance.
The bets on Deputies
In Deputies, where Sergio Massa presides, 127 of the 257 seats expire. These are the legislators elected in 2017, when the yellow wave of Cambiemos was growing in the country. For this reason, Together for Change, is the bench that puts the most deputies into play: 60 of the 115 it has. In districts like the City of Buenos Aires, for example, they would not be able to renew all those who expire in office (10) because to do so they would have to get more than 60% of the votes.
The Frente de Todos, meanwhile, has a block of 119 legislators and renews 51. I would need to hold those places and add 10 more legislators to reach the magic number: the 129 deputies for the quorum and the majority of their own. Thus, they would not depend – as until now – on circumstantial allies. Why does the opposition speak of 7 and not 10? “Because three circumstantial allies are easy to get,” they argue.
This caused that numerous projects that had a rapid advance in the Senate, were stranded in Deputies and unleashed the anger, in full session, of the ultra K Oscar Parrilli. Among them, the Judicial Reform, the new law of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, or the Bicameral to investigate the debt of the grain producer Vicentin.
But the proper majority in the lower house today seems too ambitious a project, only feasible if the Frente de Todos made a great election. If they repeated the numbers from 2019 (When with Alberto Fernández and Cristina pulling the ballot, the Front won with 48% of the votes, eight points apart from Juntos por el Cambio) would far exceed that barrier. But the current economic and pandemic scenario means that not even the most optimistic leaders are encouraged to so much and no survey today predicts that advantage.
Sergio Massa presides, at the beginning of July, a session to discuss the Biofuels and Monotax law. Photo Federico López Claro.
“The important thing is to get as close as possible to the majority. Today we need 11 allies to get a quorum (because the deputy Ignacio de Mendiguren, in charge of the IDB is on leave) and that gap is going to narrow. It will make things much easier for us, “says an official leader.
In the search to expand, the FdT has already added former allies from the middle blocs to its ranks, such as the head of the Federal Unit and Equity Interblock, Jose Luis Ramon, his bench mate Paul Ansaloni, and the head of the Federal Interblock, Eduardo “Bali” Bucca. All three expire terms this year. Ramón and Bucca will be candidates for provincial legislators this year.
The bets in the Senate
In the Senate it is another story. 24 of the 72 seats are renewed; a third of the House. As the senators’ mandates last six years, the three senators elected in 2015, from eight provinces, renew: Catamarca, La Pampa, Tucumán, Mendoza, Chubut, Córdoba, Corrientes and Santa Fe.
The Front of All -what with 41 senators exceeds the 37 necessary for the quorum and the majority proper- puts into play 15. Together for Change -with a block of 25– renew 8 own, plus the bank of your ally of the Federal Interblock, the late Carlos Reutemann.
In Catamarca, Tucumán and La Pampa, the the ruling party trusts to replace the six places without shocks and in Mendoza renew the minority bank, with Anabel Fernandez Sagasti, Cristina’s right hand in the upper house.
But the situation of the other provinces confronts them with the reality of losing seats. In the ruling party they recognize it, but they assure that they will maintain the 37 of the majority.
Together for Change trusts, in addition to preserving all its places, add at least two more senators: one in Corrientes -where the radical governs Gustavo Valdes– and another in Chubut, where for political reasons, the three representatives of that province ended up belonging to the ruling party.
Cristina Kirchner presides over a session in the Senate at the end of June.
But in that province, the Peronist management Mariano arcioni it is so questioned that there is a chance that the opposition will win. In that case, the FdT would lose two seats there.
The key, then, will be the two central provinces: Córdoba and Santa Fe. In Córdoba it is discounted that Together for Change will win, but the minority bank is the main tension because Governor Schiaretti closed outside the Frente de Todos. Will the ruling party Carlos Caserio manage to retain her or will the Cordovan front, which leads Alejandra Vigo, the governor’s wife, win her place?
In Santa Fe, where the Government puts two seats at stake, the election is also complicated because in addition to Juntos por el Cambio, the Progressive Front has a lot of weight of the late former governor Miguel Lifschitz.
For the FdT to lose the majority, it should happen the worst case scenario: lose in Chubut, Corrientes and Mendoza, but also not get to sneak any senator in Córdoba or Santa Fe.
In his favor they still have the monoblocks of the missionary Magdalena Solari Quintana and the Rionegrino Alberto Weretilneck, which do not expire mandate and function as allies.