Argentine President Alberto Fernández and Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner took centre stage Thursday as the ruling Frente de Todos party rounded up its political campaign aimed at next Sunday's Open, Simultaneous and Mandatory Primary (PASO) elections.
Also on stage were pre-candidates Leandro Santoro and Victoria Tolosa Paz, Gisela Marziotta and Daniel Gollan, among others vying for a chance to run for a seat in Congress at the November 14 mid-term elections.
President Fernández highlighted his administration's focus on labour in contrast with Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta of the opposition Juntos coalition, who had called for a change in the current legislation to strike the current severance money mechanism for layoffs and replace it with an unemployment insurance scheme.
Labour is not a cost, it is a social investment, that's why we take care of it, Fernández said. “It is associated with capital,” the president also said.
“We came with a very strong drive when the pandemic stopped us and as we are Peronists we put our hearts to adversity. But they [the administration of former President Mauricio Macri] had done away with health care, they had destroyed the health system and we had to build it back and build hospitals.”
“It is not the same to have a government which beliefs in public health than another which believes health should be managed by the market. The pandemic changed all the scripts for us. A country governed by those who believe that public education is a right is not the same as those who believe that it is a misfortune in which one falls,” the President added.
Fernández also underscored his policies combining health care decisions and businesses: “In the midst of the pandemic, scientists from a suburban university joined forces with an SME to make this chinstrap and billed millions of pesos,” he explained.
“My duty is to the people, to the women and men of Argentina. The state must always be present. They [the opposition] talk, we do more than we talk,” he went on.
Meanwhile, Vice President Cristina Fernández pointed out that “when we arrived in December 2019 the country was no longer the same. The IMF that [former President] Nestor [Kirchner] had sent packing in 2005 paying 9,800 million dollars had returned in 2019 and we find ourselves with a debt of 44,000 million dollars.”
The former President stressed that “we had left the country in 2015 with the highest salary in Latin America and four years later it was the lowest salary in Latin America.”
“This does not have to be a campaign closing but an opening of debates,” she concluded
Also present at the Tecnópolis park were Governors Axel Kicillof (Buenos Aires), Raúl Jalil (Catamarca), Jorge Capitanich (Chaco), Gustavo Bordet (Entre Ríos), Gildo Insfrán (Formosa), Sergio Ziliotto (La Pampa), Ricardo Quintela (La Rioja), Sergio Uñac (San Juan), Alicia Kirchner (Santa Cruz), Gerardo Zamora (Santiago del Estero), while Omar Perotti (Santa Fe) and Gustavo Melella (Tierra del Fuego) joined virtually.
House of Deputies Speakers Sergio Massa and FdT bloc leader Máximo Kirchner (a pair some analysts already foresee as a presidential ticket for 2023) were also at Tecnópolis.