Argentine's Cabinet Chief Juan Manzur is to leave his post sometime next week, President Alberto Fernàndez announced during an event in Tafí Viejo, in the province of Tucumán, where Manzur is Governor, albeit on unpaid leave.
We are going to return Juan to the people of Tucumán so that he can work and lead Peronism to victory [in this year's elections], said the President.
Manzur, who has been replaced by Deputy Governor Osvaldo Jaldo, plans to run for Deputy Governor himself this year behind Jaldo. As of today, I assume full and total responsibility as Osvaldo Jaldo's campaign manager, Manzur said.
The great mystery in Buenos Aires is who will take over from Manzur. One of the few names mentioned by local press reports is that of Deputy Cabinet Chief Juan Manuel Olmos. However, sources contacted by MercoPress explained that whoever is appointed may prove pivotal in President Fernández's reelection bid after distancing himself from Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who has said she would not run for any office. In other words, whoever Fernández chooses for Cabinet Chief might also be his running mate in the Peronism primaries. Hence, such a choice might have consequences in the longer run.
It was reported that Manzur's resignation is expected to be formalized around Feb. 15. (Read also: https://en.mercopress.com/2022/10/20/argentina-s-cabinet-minister-to-leave-office-next-year )
In my government, I had to endure a war, a pandemic and I had to endure internal conflicts -why not to say it?- and there was a difficult moment [September of 2021] when I needed Juan to accompany me as Cabinet Chief, Fernández explained. I asked him to come and leave the government of Tucumán to help me, he added. Thank you for accompanying me, Juan. You did it loyally, with a lot of strength, and with the slogan of seeking unity, the President stressed. Jaldo and Manzur both endorsed Fernández's reelection bid.
Alberto, Tucumán loves you, is grateful, and values you. Whatever you decide, Tucumán Peronism will follow you, Manzur underlined.
Other possible candidates to replace Manzur are former Vice President and current Ambassador to Brazil Daniel Scioli, Federal Intelligence Agency Chief Agustín Rossi, and Interior Ministry Wado De Pedro. All three denied having been approached from Casa Rosada in that regard. Olmos, on the other hand, is said to be close to President Fernández.
During his trip to Tucumán, Fernández opened the Los Nogales Thermoelectric Power Plant, which will supply energy to 40,000 households. In his speech, the President said: We have had four very difficult years, not only because of what we inherited. An unpayable debt, 23 thousand SMEs closed, 25 billion dollars that escaped, money that was stolen from Argentines. When we came to power, measles vaccines were expiring, there was no Ministry of Health, nor a Ministry of Labor. I ask you not to forget what they left behind, the debt they took and the deals they made, and the poverty they generated, Fernández insisted.