Daniel Filmus, head of the Malvinas Affairs Desk in the Argentine ministry of foreign affairs can expect to become a member of Mercosur Parliament, or Parlasur, in the coming October general election, following on a repeat of the Argentine primaries' results of last Sunday.
In effect, Filmus is the fourth name in the ruling Victory Front national candidates' list for the 43 Argentine benches of the regional parliament, and with 38% of the vote on Sunday, the grouping of Cristina Fernandez and incumbent Daniel Scioli can expect to have eight seats.
It must be pointed out that the 43 seats are divided in 19, at national level (an only district), with the remaining 24 representing the different provinces, one per provincial district and the City of Buenos Aires. The 19 seats are split according to the number of votes each presidential candidate obtains.
In this case Filmus figured in the fourth place of the Victory Front list, behind former foreign minister Jorge Taiana; current Minister of Culture, Teresa Parodi and current Defense minister Agustin Rossi.
However besides the fact that Filmus is acting as the leading claimant of Argentine sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, the media in Buenos Aires also underlined it was the first election in which the former Education minister and ex Senator for Buenos Aires City (2007/2013) did not face defeat, as has happened in the seven attempts since leaving congress and running for different elected posts.
Thus as of next October Filmus (if he loses his Malvinas job with the new government) most probably will become a member of Parlasur, the regional elected parliament of Mercosur, which includes representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.
The seat of Parlasur is Montevideo and it usually meets once a month (when there is quorum). Filmus if confirmed will be entitled to a monthly allowance (as members of the Argentine congress) equivalent to 10.000 US dollars plus expenses and all other benefits.
Currently Parlasur's activity is mostly symbolic since it is scheduled to begin full operations in December 2020, when all 188 members are elected directly by universal vote, (Sunday was Argentina's first), since currently the majority are chosen among peers. (Paraguay is the only exception).
Nevertheless it is interesting to note that according to Buenos Aires media estimates, if the October percentages are repeated next October, Cristina Fernandez Victory Front will hold on to 27 of the 43 Argentine Parlasur benches. Eight out of 19 at national level, and 19 out of 24 at provincial district level. Runner up would be Cambiemos, the group headed by presidential hopeful Mauricio Macri, with ten seats (seven at national level plus Buenos Aires City, Mendoza and Jujuy). Third placed is UNA with four, three benches at national level, plus Cordoba. And finally the independent seat for the province of San Luis ruled by the Rodriguez Saa brothers.
Parlasur was officially created in December 2006 and replaced the Joint Parliamentary Commission, with an only house with the purpose of ensuring compliance with Mercosur legislation so as to advance towards the objectives of harmonizing the region's interests.
Parlasur will have 188 members: 76 from Brazil; 43, Argentina; 33 Venezuela; 18 Paraguay and 18, Uruguay. Member's will hold their elected seats four years.