So it’s official: Cambiemos candidate Mauricio Macri will grace the Law Faculty of the University of Buenos Aires with his presence 10 days from now in the first ever presidential debate. The question is, can he convince Scioli to do the same?
Yesterday saw attempts by Victory Front (FpV) presidential candidate Daniel Scioli to bow out of the presidential debate scheduled to take place on October 4.
Although Macri had been publicly toying with the idea of joining Scioli on the bench, according to his spokesperson Miguel de Godoy, it had always been his intention to debate “no matter what.” And he wants Scioli in it too.
“We have to get him to the debate one way or another,” said Macri,
“If he doesn’t want to go, let’s have him participate via Skype,”
he went on.
“It’s not acceptable for the ruling government not to attend. That’s half of the debate,” he concluded.
With Scioli’s withdrawal, a door has been opened for Macri to take the moral high ground and to vocally assess how his opponent is feeling in the run-up to October 25 (for those of you living under a rock, that’s election day).
“If [the FpV] were confident that they had already won,” he said to Radio Mitre, “they would be much more relaxed, they would go to the debate and to several other places that they don’t want to go to.”
“Scioli shouldn’t be afraid of discussing his own ideas; the ruling party is the one that has the most to discuss and talk about because it wants to stay in power,” he went on, concluding that Scioli and his pals are much more comfortable on national TV than participating in live debates.
These are all pretty valid points and the media is lapping up this hot gossip weeks away from Cristina’s despedida.
So why is Scioli laying low?
As we know, his original excuse was that there was no legislation institutionalizing the debate.
However, it has recently emerged that earlier this year, a bill was put together which sought to make it mandatory for candidates to debate their ideas within a legal frame work (isn’t that what Scioli is asking for now?).
Well, Civic Coalition deputy Carla Carrizo explained to La Red that the FpV wholeheartedly supported this initiative at first, but after the winter holidays “the political will of the governing party folded,” and they stopped the bill from becoming legislation.
Now Carrizo is proposing a penal sanction for those who retract promises such as these as a way of publically naming and shaming politicians.
The question still stands, will there be five or six politicians standing behind their lecterns a little over a week from now?