The inclusion in the agenda of the extraordinary sessions of the empowerment to Congress to discuss the project to suspend the PASO this year comes after the insistence of several governors who this week met with President Alberto Fernández in La Rioja. In that meeting in the North there were 10 provincial authorities, but the request that was made official in December includes almost all the leaders.
The initiative to suspend the Simultaneous and Compulsory Open Primaries that has now reached Congress was anticipated by Clarion in May 2020, in the middle of the pandemic of coronavirus. Some time later, the first to make it official was the governor of Chaco, Jorge Capitanich, and in December the summit arrived in which he was presented by several leaders to the President.
In the last week, those who ratified the request made explicit to the President on December 4 were Raúl Jalil (Catamarca), Jorge Capitanich (Chaco), Gustavo Valdés (Corrientes), Gildo Insfrán (Formosa), Gerardo Morales (Jujuy), Ricardo Quintela (La Rioja) and Juan Manzur (Tucumán).
But a little over a month ago, at the meeting for the fiscal pact with the Executive, the vocation to suspend the Primary had the support of the majority of the leaders, among whom was not Horacio Rodríguez Larreta.
Alberto Fernández and Jorge Capitanich, walking through the Quinta de Olivos.
Although the support for the suspension of the PASO is not the same from each province. The racial governor of Mendoza, Rodolfo Suárez, held an intermediate position: that the PASO be made in places where there are pre-candidates who want to compete and not where there are unique lists.
On the other hand, Gustavo Sáenz, from Salta, present at the La Rioja summit this week, announced that he will call the general elections in his province for July 4, and that decision that fell badly in the bosom of the Executive.
However, official sources confirmed to Clarion that Sáenz accompanies the order. But that decision in Salta could be replicated by several provincial executives, who let the Nation know that they could follow in the footsteps of Sáenz and double down on elections, as mandated by several of their respective constitutions.
What are the arguments of the governors? They 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 reproached Sáenz for his decision to advance the elections and argued that it contradicts the request to suspend the STEP pushed by the governors. Sáenz has already repealed the provincial PASO, but in his local elections the single electronic ballot is used, so he could not unify the criteria with the Nation.
10 days ago, Capitanich passed by 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 working in that direction this week.
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 also 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.