Argentine main opposition groups, parties and unions, have been rallying in an attempt to counter the alleged intentions of the Cristina Fernandez administration to sponsor a constitutional reform that would enable her to bid for a third consecutive presidential mandate in 2015.
Members of the Radical party, the main opposition group in Congress met with the head of organized labour, CGT, Hugo Moyano, until a year ago a close ally of the government, and exchanged ideas of how to address the issue beginning with claims of “freedoms’ encroachment”
“We must confront head on the lack of freedoms”, said Moyano adding that “all the sectors I talk with want to challenge ‘Kirchnerism’”.
The head of the Radical party, Mario Barletta said that “under no circumstances are we to encourage or support a possible constitutional reform, because it would imply violating the rule of the law and the checks and balances system”.
Likewise the leader of the Broad Progressive Front, the second strongest force in Congress Hermes Binner met with members from other political forces, centre right and centre left, including dissidents from the ruling Peronist coalition, who openly rejected any reform and called for unity in confronting such a challenge.
Binner went further and announced a campaign to collect a million signatures in support and defence of the independence of government branches, federalism and social rights.
“Our respect for the constitution, for the three main independent pillars of government has us totally contrary to the presidential re-re-election. Abiding the constitution also means the need to avoid any re-re-election attempts, as one of the possible options the government is considering perpetuating itself” underlined Binner.
Meanwhile, the head of GEN, Margarita Stolbizer added that we're setting a popular participation mechanism, which includes the signatures collection to defend the Constitution.
Córdoba's Senator Luis Juez anticipated that within the next days we will announce other initiatives to show where this plural space is standing regarding this issue. He added that the Legislative and Judicial branches can’t continue to be subjugated by the Executive.
The campaign will end in October 30, day in which the first election after the Dirty War was held in 1983, when former president Ricardo Alfonsín was the winning candidate.
The GAPU presented its own campaign by holding a debate with constitutional attorneys, former legislators and NGO's representatives.
However the head of the government block in the Lower House of Congress Agustin Rossi said that the issue (re-re-election) was out of the ‘parliamentary agenda’ and called on the opposition members “to put their energy into other matters”.
Rossi added that “we have already said that we are not working to reform the constitution. It is not in our work table, or in our group’s parliamentary agenda; we are not working on the issue”.
However, several lawmakers, provincial and municipal leaders have openly said they support the re-re-election of Cristina Fernandez and would gladly sponsor such an initiative. The only person who has not said a word, but has not neutralized the growing manifestations is President Cristina Fernandez.
Next year she faces mid term elections and recent Argentine history has shown that all the elected presidents have had serious problems with that ballot in the second mandate, which turns them into political “lame ducks” generating a serious degree of instability. By letting rumours prosper the president could also be ensuring more time and preparing her successor, if that is possible in her mind and heart.