Former Security Minister Patricia Bullrich admitted that she would not abandon her values after being eliminated from the Argentine presidential race on Sunday. But her loss may have signaled the end of the Juntos por el Cambio (JxC) coalition.
With the opposition alliance of former President Mauricio Macri having to decide whether to side with La Libertad Avanza (LLA) of Congressman Javier Milei or Economy Minister Sergio Massa's Unión por la Patria (UP) for the Nov. 19 runoff, Bullrich also recognized that others within her party would fight the battles of the future.
It will be others who will advance in these values and in this path, Bullrich said after receiving only 23.8% of the vote, far less than JxC's over 28% in the Aug. 13 Open, Simultaneous and Mandatory Primary (PASO), if her votes were added to those of Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta.
Bullrich insisted that she would not support Kirchnerism in any form. Therefore, her vote (not necessarily that of her constituents) would go to Milei.
Now Juntos will be divided into three. Some will support Massa in the election, others will support Milei, and others will vote blank, a JxC leader was quoted as saying by local media.
In this scenario, Macri's cousin Jorge emerged as the acting leader of what was left of JxC, along with former Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio, who was elected governor of Entre Ríos.
Jorge Macri and Massist Leandro Santoro will compete for the post of mayor of the autonomous city of Buenos Aires. Macri was less than one percentage point away from a first-round victory, which would have required him to win more than 50% of the vote.
There was also discontent among the Radical Civic Union (UCR) members of the coalition, it was reported.
There is no affection between Bullrich and Larreta, they don't like each other. It is incomprehensible why she called him [to become Cabinet Chief], Bullrich's team was quoted as saying. They blame this decision for the drop in votes.
JxC must now discuss what to do. Jorge and Mauricio Macri could approach Milei, and so could Bullrich, but the UCR and the Larretist branch would not. Larreta is even known to be a close friend of Massa's.
I am not the one who is going to congratulate someone who was part of the worst government in Argentina, who ruined and sunk the country and the future of Argentines, Bullrich said of Massa.
We have not achieved the goals we wanted for our Argentina, but we have come to reaffirm with all our strength the values of our cause, which goes beyond an electoral moment, beyond a defeat, she added.
We have a deep conviction that the values of the Republic, of transparency, of the fight against corruption, of a country that must abandon populism if it wants to grow and end poverty, are the values that we carry inside, she went on.
”Maybe those values have fallen asleep today, but we are going to wake them up each and every day for our productive Argentina, she also pledged.