Argentina's incumbent President Mauricio Macri has announced Tuesday he chose Senate Majority (and opposition) Leader Miguel Ángel Pichetto as his running mate for this year's elections.
Macri posted on his Twitter we will need to build agreements with great generosity and patriotism where all Argentines who share these values contribute from their place [and] for all this I want to announce that Miguel Ángel Pichetto will accompany me as a candidate for Vice President.
Los argentinos nos enfrentamos a una oportunidad histórica para consolidar nuestra democracia. En las próximas elecciones decidiremos si queremos vivir en una república o volver a un autoritarismo populista.— Mauricio Macri (@mauriciomacri) June 11, 2019
He described his unexpected associate as a statesman, who through the difficult years of government I've come to know and respect for his commitment to the Homeland and its institutions, as per his official Twitter account.
Pichetto, a Senator from the province of Río Negro, was heavily criticised for preventing the Upper House from stripping former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner -also a sitting Senator since 2017- from her parliamentary immunity so that she could be arrested in the corruption trials she is facing for alleged misdeeds during her eight years at the country's helm.
But despite that, Macri warned that [w]e Argentines face a historic opportunity to consolidate our democracy. He added that in the next elections we will decide if we want to live in a republic or return to a populist authoritarianism.
Macri has already been labelled a traitor by his 2015 pro-life voters since he pushed for abortion to be legalised last year. It would appear that the anti-Peronist portion of his supporters might also run away now the Peronist Pichetto is onboard and that he is banking on CFK's estimated ceiling of around 30/35 percent to remain in office after December 10.
In fact, CFK will run for the vicepresidency, behind her former Cabinet Chief Alberto Fernández. But her links to the Castrists in Cuba and the Chavists in Venezuela, in addition to Alberto's recent meeting with former Uruguayan President José Mujica, place the Fernández-Fernández ticket closer to the region's not so appealing left.
The president seemed undeterred Tuesday when he twitted [w]e want a country where everyone can progress from their work. For that we need to integrate the world and look to the future. We want a democracy with pluralism, freedom of the press and defense of human rights. We want to fight crime within the law without false guarantees.
Following the announcement, Pichetto resigned as opposition leader on the Senate, at the request of Senator José Mayans.
Macri's decision to pick Senator Pichetto for the vicepresidency has sparked controversial comments across the nation.
Antikirchnerites have demanded on social media that Judge Claudio Bonadio refiles his petition to the Senate to lift CFK's immunity.