Three national deputies and a senator announced yesterday that they would split from their respective Victory Front (FpV) caucuses in Congress — by caucus we refer to a group of legislators who vote along the same lines — following the arrest of José López, the former Kirchnerite public works secretary discovered trying to hide some US $9 million in a convent on Tuesday.
This means that now the FpV caucus in the Lower House will go down from having 79 deputies to 76, while the Senate FpV caucus will go from 42 to 41.
The four lawmakers are from the province of Misiones. The “splitter” who is getting the most attention is Maurice Closs, the former provincial governor who would’ve been the country’s tourism and sports minister had Daniel Scioli won last year’s presidential elections.
This isn’t the first time these legislators have shown signs of dissent within their caucuses, however. For instance, in a number of instances, they attended certain Congressional sessions which their fellow caucus members did not. Some say that López’s arrest was the straw that broke the camel’s back for them.
According to Perfil, the lawmakers will create their own caucus called “Misiones” (creative bunch, aren’t they), but will probably vote along the same lines as the Justicialist caucus (PJ), a larger group of lawmakers who also split from the FpV earlier this year over disagreements over how the FpV thought it should provide opposition to the ruling Cambiemos coalition.
Led by Deputy Diego Bossio, the Justicialist caucus has taken more moderate stances than the FpV when it’s come to presenting an opposition to bills originating from President Mauricio Macri’s administration. In fact, PJ lawmakers, specially the 19 deputies in the Lower House, have been key in helping Cambiemos’s deputies reach quorum — the number of members necessary to hold a session — in some of the most important voting sessions that have taken place in Congress this year.