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Montevideo, May 25th 2022 - 12:20 UTC



Tierra del Fuego Governor takes office

Monday, January 12th 2004 - 20:00 UTC
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An “odd couple” even by Argentine standards, made up of an opposition Radical governor and a vice governor from the ruling Peronist party took office last Saturday in the city of Ushuaia, capital of the extreme south province of Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and South Atlantic Islands.

This is the third democratically elected governor since Tierra del Fuego in 1991 changed its statute from National Territory to Province.

Incoming Governor Jorge Colazo and former mayor of the city of Rio Grande actually belongs to the defeated Radical party of former presidents Raúl Alfonsín and Fernando De la Rúa, while Vice-governor Hugo Cóccaro is identified with a dissident faction of the ruling Peronist party.

Last June 29 they defeated in the run off, the Peronist ticket made up of then governor Carlos Manfredotti (who was aligned with former President Carlos Menem) and Vice-governor Daniel Gallo who responds to current president Nestor Kirchner.

Interior Minister Anibal Fernández and Tourism Secretary Enrique Mayer represented president Kirchner at the ceremony together with Patagonian provinces governors and other outstanding officials from the Radical party.

In his inaugural speech Governor Colazo quickly aligned himself with President Kirchner policies saying that Tierra del Fuego will always support presidential efforts "to impose Argentina's interests and dignity in the world".

Further on he said Tierra del Fuego was a first example of "transversal" politics, which is so dear to President Kirchner, meaning by "transversal" the building of power bases identified by common objectives. Actually an effort by the Argentine president to extend his political support outside of (Peronist) party lines with the purpose of counterbalancing the dominant influence of the Buenos Aires province Peronist party and his undisputed leader former president Eduardo Duhalde.

However reality indicates Mr. Colazo will be receiving a provincial government in "intensive therapy" because the complete lack of dialogue with his predecessor, (and his co-mentor former Santa Cruz province governor Mr. Kirchner) allowed outgoing Mr. Manfredotti "to overspend, loot the provincial bank, name countless new employees and upward categorize hundreds of his followers in the administration".

Besides Mr. Colazo only has three out of fifteen elected members in the provincial parliament and the Tierra del Fuego named judiciary is believed to be significantly faithful to Mr. Manfredotti.

"We're going to mobilize the people, invite local councils to participate, create a Dialogue Table, Citizens Advisory councils, so that bills are consensus sponsored and not Executive initiatives. Legislators won't try to impede popular consensus", Governor Colazo is quoted in the Argentine press.

Categories: Mercosur.

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