This piece was written the day before attempt to kill Against Cristina Fernández de Kirchner radically changed the political field of play in Argentina, but remained relevant to the point where the reader stripped themselves of the case in order to see the big picture.
There is something intriguing about trying to visualize the future because circumstances are constantly changing. What I believe will happen today in 2023 may be very different from what I will believe in in a day, week or month. In this context, the weight of the indictment against Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in a corruption trial known as ‘velidadIt has put the entire social and political ecosystem in flux, giving the vice president a centrality she might not even have expected. An expert on issues of political power, Fernandez de Kirchner took full advantage of this opportunity, sponsoring the full and utterly diverse Peronist front behind her as she flirted with a potential 2023 presidential nomination.
Everything is connected of course. As has been made clear several times in this column, the chance of Christina going to prison anytime soon is highly unlikely. The court did not even consider the defense case, after which they must come to a ruling that can be appealed to a higher court. Ultimately, the Supreme Court will have to make a call as we talk about at least 2025. Everything you do will trigger a series of actions across the political arena that could set the stage for 2023 completely different from what was previously anticipated. This is the lens under which the entire circus must be analyzed.
The conventional wisdom before Attorney General Diego Luciani filed his indictment against CFK was that she and Mauricio Macri would have to run for president because of the exorbitant negative numbers in public opinion polls. President Alberto Fernandez, along with Cristina’s son Maximo Kirchner, Governor of Buenos Aires Province, Axel Kiselov, and commissioner Sergio Massa were all in the same boat. Alberto had dreamed of being reelected if the economy improved, but Massa’s rise to a leadership role as a “super” economy minister has hammered the nail into the coffin. In Massa’s case, his ambition has led him to reach the hottest seat in the house with the expectation that he’ll take him to Casa Rosada next year or position him for 2027. At 50, he’s still young enough for the presidency. Kiselov will run a tough re-election race, but he can use the “house advantage” of the North American Bronians Konorbanu To pull a difficult victory out of the bag. Fernandez de Kirchner will join him on the campaign trail, as she was expected to go for a Senate seat in the country’s largest province, while they will need to find a place for Maximo in either Buenos Aires or Santa Cruz.
Could Cristina dream of a Casa Rosada instead of the Senate next year? In a recent poll by political consultancy Opinaia, CFK easily won the PASO primaries. When asked who would vote in the presidential election, Fernandez de Kirchner would receive 13 percent of the vote, compared to six percent for Alberto and five percent for Massa. In total, the Todos Front coalition would receive 28 percent of the vote, just two points ahead of Juntos Bor el Cambio. Interestingly, Macri and PRO party leader Patricia Bullrich will each receive eight percent, while Buenos Aire Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Laretta will receive six percent. Finally, the only candidate “voted” will be libertarian economist Javier Mili, with 18 percent. 14% have changed the rules of the game and are undecided. When the question changes from individuals to political parties (or in this case alliances), Frente de Todos has a voting intention of 42 percent compared to 52 percent for Juntos por el Cambio.
The previous scenario points to the actual fragmentation of the ruling coalition, but ‘Christina 2023’ requires that it remain united. The mirror image of this is Macri, who evaluates his chances as he increases his public appearance. He injected the character of Bullrich, who played a counterweight to Rodriguez Laretta, who could appeal to the right-wingers who might consider changing their vote from the Millie-Esbert camp if that was effective enough to beat the Peronists. Bullrich knows this is her last real chance at 66 years old, still one of the only politicians with positive numbers in the polls. Even Rodriguez Larita slipped into negative territory in some polls. Bullrich would step aside if Macri wanted to compete, which meant the city’s mayor would have to fight a war on two fronts. Those close to Rodriguez Laretta are confident in his ability to move forward, keep the alliance united and hold the PASO primaries, but they are not counting on Macri throwing his hat into the ring. They think it’s just an attempt to regain some centrality and relevance after Rodriguez Larita made his way into the mid-term of 2021. They say former first lady Juliana Awada won’t be about to take part in another tour, to assure themselves what they’d like to believe.
The return of former presidents has kept Alberto Fernandez from waning, while the Todos Front has helped push the economic situation into the background a bit. Rampant inflation could reach 100 percent this year, and Massa’s month-long tenure at the Economy Ministry has brought a lot of talk but very little in terms of concrete action. The super minister promised to collect $5 billion in reserves to fill the depleted coffers of the Central Bank. Hamadeh tours the imperial residence a few weeks ago, where he met the head of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva. “Argentina still lacks a comprehensive policy plan under Massa,” says Fitch, the credit rating agency, noting that “financial metrics are deteriorating net of accounting maneuvers, and the cap on Central Bank Treasury funding does not represent a strong monetary anchor. Reserves are declining over the Despite broadly supportive terms of trade, indicating that unresolved domestic problems are to blame.” Regardless, the IMF forecasts that Argentina will grow 4 percent this year after 10.4 percent last year, the second-highest South American economy after Colombia (6.3 percent). While the United States is expected to slow to one percent in 2023, beleaguered Argentina will expand by three percent if it continues at this modest pace. Maybe Massa was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.
Going back to previous presidents, Mauricio and Cristina play their cards before 2023. They have adjusted the political scenario and can be ready for "Super classicoConfronting Macri-Kirchner. I doubt it, but what I think today may soon change.
this is Piece Originally Posted in Buenos Aires TimesThe only Argentine newspaper published in English.