The deadline to sign parties and alliances up for the midterm primary elections has passed, giving us a more accurate image of what the election might look like, especially in the Province and City of Buenos Aires.
We are already pretty sure who most of the candidates will be, but there’s still a key question that won’t be answered until June 24 when the next deadline occurs forcing parties to officially release the name of the candidate who will represent them on the ballot. Will former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner candidate for the Citizen’s United Front (Frente de Unidad Ciudadana)? Most political analysts think that she created the party for the sole purpose of avoiding competing against her former Interior and Transportation Minister, Florencio Randazzo, in a primary election for the Justicialist Party (PJ). Just nine days to find out.
These are the parties and alliances that will hold primary elections and our best guess on who will most likely represent them.
Buenos Aires Province
As you may have noticed based on the freak out on social media yesterday, Fernández created a new party called Citizen’s United Front. Unless something really weird happens, this alliance that is comprised of 20 parties loyal to the former president and will not hold a primary election. But the major question is whether she will be at the top of the ticket. All indicators point to this being the case, but we can’t be 100 percent sure.
Randazzo is expected to try and represent the historic PJ. He will likely compete in a primary against the Mayor of the Jose C. Paz district, Mario Ishii, who only yesterday announced his intention to run, probably looking to seize the opportunity the absence of the former President provides. There’s also a possibility that a candidate who answers to former Domestic Trade Secretary during the Kirchner years, Guillermo Moreno, will run in the primary as well.
The representatives of the Cambiemos coalition decided to avoid the primaries and handpicked their candidates for the general elections. Barring a surprising turn of events, Education Minister Esteban Bullrich or head of the Acumar, the entity in charge of leading efforts to clean the Riachuelo river, Gladys González, will be the main candidates for senators. Neurosurgeon Facundo Manes and political leaders Graciela Ocaña and Héctor “Toti” Flores, on their end, are most likely to be at the top of the party’s ticket of candidates for deputies.
The alliance between Deputies Sergio Massa and Margarita Stolbizer was also made official yesterday, with the signing up of the front called 1Argentina (one Argentina). There won’t be many surprises there: both will run for senators as the party’s appeal is mainly based on their image.
The leftist parties also formed a coalition called Leftist Workers’ Front (Frente de Izquierda de los Trabajadores). It will be made up of the historic Workers Party (PO), the Socialist Workers Party (PTS) and the Front for Socialism.
Buenos Aires City
Here, the scenario has been clear for a while now. Cambiemos’ representatives denied former Ambassador to the US Martín Lousteau the possibility to run in a primary, prompting him to run on his own. He will represent a coalition between the City’s Radical Party (UCR) and the Socialist Party, called “Citizen Evolution” (Evolución Ciudadana).
Unable to use the name Cambiemos due to the UCR’s absence, the government signed up an alliance comprised of the PRO party, the Civic Coalition and several other smaller parties. National Deputy Elisa “Lilita” Carrió will head the ticket.
After failing to convince Lousteau to join their alliance in the City, 1Argentina will have economist Matías Tombilini run for office. Historically, Massa’s parties haven’t done well in the City. In the 2015 Mayoral election’s primaries, economist Guillermo Nielsen didn’t even get the 1.5 percent of the vote necessary to run in the general election and things are not looking great now either.
In contrast with the reigning division in the Province, Peronism and Kirchnerism managed to reach consensus in the City and presented a single alliance, comprised of 17 parties. Pundits posit that four candidates will run in a potential primary, but their names are still unknown.
The leftist parties signed up the same coalition as in the Province. Marcelo Ramal will be the first candidate to National Deputy and Myriam Bregman will try to get a seat at the City’s legislature.