Mighty Economy Minister Sergio Massa will be a presidential candidate in Argentina's upcoming mandatory, open, and simultaneous primary (PASO) elections on behalf of the ruling Unión por la Patria (UP) front, with Cabinet Chief Agustín Rossi as his running mate, it was announced Friday in Buenos Aires.
With Massa's candidacy, all the other contenders from the same political alliance such as former Vice President Daniel Scioli and Interior Minister Wado De Pedro have withdrawn from the race in a move to strengthen the party representative's chances in the general elections. Hence, for UP the primaries are now a technicality. The Aug. 13 polls will only define controversies in other political spaces, such as Together for Chance (Juntos por el Cambio - JxC) and the Radical Civic Union (UCR).
President Alberto Fernández and Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (CFK) had announced in April this year that neither of them would be running. The Massa-Rossi ticket was decided upon between the two of them about 24 hours before the deadline for registering candidacies, it was explained.
Unión por la Patria has a UNITY list. For institutional, political, and social responsibility, our space has decided to form a unity list that will represent us in the next elections, Unión por la Patria posted on its Twitter account.
Our candidate for president will be Sergio Massa and he will be accompanied by Agustín Rossi as candidate for vice-president. We acknowledge comrades Wado de Pedro and Daniel Scioli, who bet on the unity of Peronism putting the collective before the individual, the party added.
President Fernández also made arrangements for his current ministers Victoria Tolosa Paz and Santiago Cafiero to run for the Lower House.
With Friday's news, Thursday's announcement that De Pedro and former Cabinet Chief Juan Manzur would become the ruling party's ticket was short-lived.