Tucumán Governor José Alperovich admitted today his party, the Kirchnerite Victory Front (FpV), had handed out food bags in exchange for votes during the turbulent elections that took place in the province on August 23. However, he called out the opposition for doing the same:
“In Tucumán’s capital, where 40% of the voters live, the FpV lost and we recognized it. Food bags were distributed and everything, but we lost there, same as in other cities. So the opposition has to respect the people’s will as well. We got 54% of the votes overall [in the province], and few governors take office with such a high percentage,” stated Alperovich, thus denying the patronage system had any substantial impact on the election’s final result.
Alperovich also attributed the non-stop protests clamoring for transparency to the opposition’s inability to accept the election’s outcome:
“People are free to express themselves. They might be angry because they lost. It’s all part of the democratic system, but I think they have to respect the people’s will,” he said.
“You don’t have to be a sore loser. We’ve won by 100,000 votes.”
the governor said, making reference to the difference Kirchnerite Juan Manzur got in the provisional scrutiny over Radical contender José Cano supported by Cambiemos coalition candidate Mauricio Macri and A New Alternative (UNA) candidate Sergio Massa, among others. The definitive recount that will confirm the victor is still being carried out.
Cabinet Chief Aníbal Fernández also gave his two cents on the topic, because he’ll never miss a chance to do so. Even though he admitted both the FpV and opposition had handed out food bags, he added people know what to do when they go into the voting room:
“People aren’t dumb, they don’t obey a bag, but what their conscience tells them.”
On the subject of fraud claims, Alperovich struck down Chamber of Appeals General Prosecutor Gustavo Gomez, who had stated conditions were given to annul the elections.
“He has no say in these things, that’s what the provincial court is for and we respect it,” he finished.
However, contender José Cano is not willing to give up and stated he intends on presenting evidence of fraud in order to have the elections annulled.
It looks like Tucumán-related scandals are not stopping anytime soon.