A centre-left broad front is born in Argentina as “a government alternative”
The leaders of various Argentine centre-left and radical parties signed on Tuesday evening the document which marks the official birth of the Broad Front UNEN, the electoral coalition which aims to provide a non-Peronist alternative at the 2015 presidential vote.
The inauguration ceremony was held in the Broadway Theatre, City of Buenos Aires, with representatives of the groups who will form the Front present in the front row of the hall.
The leading figures of the new Front include Elisa Carrió (Civic Coalition), Hermes Binner (FAP), Roy Cortina (Socialist Party), Fernando Pino Solanas (Projecto South), Ernesto Sanz y Julio Cobos (UCR), Margarita Stolbizer (GEN), and Victoria Donda (Free People of the South), among other groups.
Following the showing of two videos, actor and radical politician Luis Brandoni read out the constitution document which was subsequently later signed by leaders. Militants of the parties were also present in the act, flying banners for their respective movements as the pact was formalized.
The new coalition marks a fusion between the Broad Progressive Front, that in 2011 finished second in the presidential elections with Socialist Party leader Hermes Binner as candidate; and UNEN, who with Project South senator Fernando 'Pino' Solanas and Civic Coalition leader Elisa Carrió as candidates fought the 2013 midterms in the City of Buenos Aires and defeated incumbent Daniel Filmus, currently named as a special secretary of Malvinas affairs.
Today we've announced the political news of the year, the creation of the Broad Front UNEN. Now there's new hope, a new possible future for Argentina has been born. Progress, well being, sustained development, inclusion and quality education said Radical leader Ernesto Sanz.
We are very optimistic about the future, it's a political front that will keep growing and it's the best future for Argentina he concluded.
However despite the banners, celebration and optimism a big question remained in the air: will the broad front be enough to beat the Peronists and neo-Peronists which dominate the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina's main electoral district with 35% of the national vote, plus other economically poor provinces which give it a reasonable floor of at least 40%?
To achieve this, the new grouping would need the allied support of PRO the conservative party that dominates the City of Buenos Aires under mayor Mauricio Macri and whose influence has extended to much of the Argentine middle class.
Since Macri is 'conservative' and a business-man, it would be politically 'incorrect' for the alleged left-wing broad front coalition to incorporate PRO to the coalition, which in that case would effectively be a challenge to the divided Peronists. However time will tell, there's still over a year before the primaries and the October 2015 election.
A brief account of some of the points from the joint government program includes shared values such as the search for freedom and equality; republican rule of the law; public ethics which does not admit corruption or impunity and a strong and efficient State.
Overcoming the friend-enemy logic which has divided the Argentine society; we believe in dialogue, convergence and long term agreements; we are decided to challenge the rule of office which misleads State with government; citizens with patronage and public affairs with private dealings.
Impeccable conduct and honesty in government are a moral imperative as well as a guarantee for the fair distribution of public funds.
The candidates for the October general election will be chosen through the primary mechanism PASO. A mechanism that will be continued and extended to all the country's districts.
Argentina is fractured by a growing inequality where children and youth are whom most suffer poverty, indigence, lack of basic services, access to quality public education and health care and dignified jobs.
Violence, insecurity, drug trafficking and people trafficking are scourges that degrade Argentine society and demand an efficient and transparent State to address them.
The authoritarian political model which ignores federalism and officials do not respect the rule of the law, is entirely unacceptable.
Finally, concentration of power with no republican controls had led to rampant corruption, the loss of federalism, degradation of the environment, 'good-friends' capitalism, an incapable State and economic backwardness.