Photo via Data 24

The Cambiemos coalition is set to have a historic midterm election in Buenos Aires City. Its first candidate to national deputy, coalition co-founder Elisa “Lilita” Carrió, got almost half of the votes in August’s primaries, and all indicators point at her improving her performance in October’s elections.

However, the campaign is now facing an unexpected wave in its otherwise smooth sailing: it was revealed that its eight candidate to national deputy, named Joanna Picetti, has been accused of “infantile mistreatment” by members of her own family. As a result of this, Carrió and the other high-ranking members of Cambiemos who are involved in the campaigned asked her to drop her bid. She claimed she’s innocent, and refused.

According to Perfil, Picetti’s ex husband accused her before two different courts of “inappropriate behavior with her three children.” Even though she was acquitted by one of the courts, and the other one archived the case because it considered there’s not enough evidence to continue with the investigation, Carrió said that no one from her ticket “will enter [the Lower House] with an accusation like that” on their shoulders. “First, she has to clarify her situation,” Carrió added. Should Cambiemos get the same amount of votes that it did in the primaries, Picetti would be the last candidate of the ticket to become a deputy.

Picetti made it to the ticket thanks to a suggestion from close advisers to Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio. She’s 37 years old, a diploma in business administration and, until this news surfaced, worked as an aide in AySA, the state-run agency that provides potable water and sewers to Buenos Aires City and 17 districts of the greater Buenos Aires area. She was also removed from her post.

Cambiemos’ members are not planning on letting the situation go. Her still fellow candidates went to the court that deals with electoral matters and formally requested she be prevented from running – or be sworn in, should it come to that – for “moral inability.” And according to Clarín, she was even offered a post in the Executive branch in exchange for dropping her bid. She also refused.

Picetti is in France, as she attended a G-20Y summit that ended on October 1.Government sources told La Nación that she’s currently in Paris and that she will hardly change her mind if she hasn’t done so far.

All of the press’ efforts to reach her have been unfruitful. But in the past days she has published several tweets that seem to address the issue.

“Forgiving is the courage of the strongest. Only the person who is strong enough to forgive an offense knows how to LOVE.”

“The most important thing that I learned in life is to be strong when life sets you back, to have trust in yourself, know who you are.”

Should Picetti resign before the elections, her post would be filled by Patricia Holzman, Chief of Staff for Environment Minister Sergio Bergman. Holzman is tenth in the list, but would take her place so there’s the same amount of men and women in the ticket, in accordance to the law. Should Picetti be elected but prevented from swearing in, she would be replaced by Jorge Enríquez, current deputy Secretary of Justice in Buenos Aires City.