Argentina's ruling coalition of president Mauricio Macri celebrated on Sunday victory in the Corrientes province governor race, a significant boost a couple of weeks before the crucial midterm elections. Candidate Gustavo Valdés supported by Let's Change grouping won the Corrientes gubernational dispute with 54.06% of the votes.
Valdés, who belongs to the Radical party, UCR, Macri's coalition senior ally beat Peronist candidate Carlos “Camau” Espínola, who was supported by 45.19% of votes. That difference means Valdés will be able to take office without having to face the runner-up in a runoff.
The Macri administration is trying to capitalize the victory, ahead of 22 October, considered a definitive date for investors waiting to ensure they can look ahead to a business friendly congress. Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio and Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña, arguably two of the most influential government officials, traveled to Corrientes to join Valdés at the time of announcing his victory.
“I ask you to keep this enthusiasm and energy for two more weeks because the President [Mauricio Macri] needs Corrientes’ deputies in the National Congress,” Frigerio told the crowd gathered at Valdés’s headquarters.
“Congratulations Gustavo Valdés, new governor of Corrientes. Together we will continue working to consolidate the change in the province,” reads the tweet.
This election wasn’t a great surprise as representatives from UCR have administered the province for sixteen years running, and will for at least anotherr four more. In fact, according to political analysts, current governor Ricardo Colombi is considered by President Macri as one of the five governors – including Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta – he can count on in Congress.
Colombi said Valdés’ victory ratifies the people of Corrientes' decision to “accompany” the “presence of the national government in the province since Macri became president.” He added that “Corrientes was a province that had to endure discrimination during the Kirchner administrations. With the change of government in 2015, we are fully integrated to the national context”.