Concluida la primer vuelta electoral en la Ciudad AutÃ³noma de Buenos Aires, el Ã©xito contundente del actual jefe de Gobierno Mauricio MacriÂ y su agrupaciÃ³n polÃtica PRO por sobre el candidato del Frente para la Victoria (FPV), Daniel Filmus, rememora las elecciones del 2007. Estas concluyeron con el triunfo de Cristina FernÃ¡ndez de Kirchner (FPV) en las elecciones presidenciales, contradiciendo la gran mayorÃa de los pronÃ³sticos y a pesar del entonces triunfo de Macri en la Ciudad. El panorama polÃtico actual parecerÃa sugerir que a pesar de la (por el momento parcial) derrota del FPV en las elecciones porteÃ±as, serÃ¡ el statu quo que se asentarÃ¡ a partir de octubre con las elecciones por la presidencia de la NaciÃ³n. El texto estÃ¡ en inglÃ©s.
CrÃ©dito de la foto: CC/Flickr/ GalerÃa de Mauricio Macri
DÃ©jÃ vu all over again
The Economist, Americas view
12 de julio 2011
ON THE thin roster of candidates hoping to run against Cristina FernÃ¡ndez de Kirchner in her bid for re-election as Argentinaâ€™s president this year, one of the most promising was Mauricio Macri. The son of a wealthy businessman and the former president of Boca Juniors, the countryâ€™s most popular football club, Mr Macri was reasonably well-known nationwide even before he was elected mayor of Buenos Aires in 2007. The cityâ€™s economy has prospered during his time in office, and he was able to establish a new municipal police force, ending the cityâ€™s dependence on federal officers. With his conservative ally, Francisco de NarvÃ¡ez, barred from running for president because he was born abroad to foreign parents, Mr Macri looked like the rightâ€™s best shot to take on Ms FernÃ¡ndez.
To the disappointment of his conservative backers, however, Mr Macri has always been politically cautious. In keeping with his familyâ€™s business tradition, he is thought to enjoy governing far more than campaigning. Moreover, PRO, the conservative alliance he co-founded in 2005, has made few inroads outside the Buenos Aires area. And Ms FernÃ¡ndezâ€™s popularity has soared since NÃ©stor Kirchner, her husband and predecessor as president, died of a heart attack last October. Rather than offering himself up as a sacrificial lamb to Ms FernÃ¡ndez, Mr Macri announced in May that he would run for a second term as mayor instead.
The president was in no mood to concede continued control of the capital to Mr Macri, with whom she has repeatedly sparred in office, often hindering co-operation between the federal and municipal governments. Just as in 2007, she tapped Daniel Filmus, a former education minister, to run for mayor. Mr Filmus is one of the most moderate and professionally accomplished members of Ms FernÃ¡ndezâ€™s entourage, making him a good fit for the capitalâ€™s educated and cosmopolitan electorate. Mr Filmus hammered Mr Macri for abusing his power, noting that the head of the cityâ€™s new police force, Jorge Palacios, is being prosecuted for illegal phone tapping. He also criticised the mayor for failing to reduce crime and poverty, and for delays in the expansion of the cityâ€™s underground train system.
Nonetheless, Mr Macriâ€™s decision to abandon the presidential race was vindicated on July 10th, when he breezed through the first round of the mayoral election. The incumbent took 47% of the vote, just short of the absolute majority he needed to avoid a run-off. Mr Filmus took 28% and Fernando â€œPinoâ€ Solanas, a left-wing filmmaker, finished third with 13%. Barring a major upset, Mr Macri now looks set to coast to victory in the second round on July 31st.
Does Mr Macriâ€™s success bode poorly for Ms FernÃ¡ndezâ€™s chances in October? Not necessarily. The wealthy city of Buenos Aires has long been hostile to her Peronist party (unlike its heavily populated working-class suburbs, which are the Peronistsâ€™ stronghold). Ms FernÃ¡ndez shrugged off Mr Macriâ€™s victory over Mr Filmus in 2007 and won the presidential election easily. And because Mr Macriâ€™s father, Franco Macri, is seen by many on the left as a symbol of ill-gotten gains for his dealings with Argentinaâ€™s 1976-83 dictatorship, the mayorâ€™s continued presence on the national stage may help to rile up the presidentâ€™s supporters (even though the elder Mr Macri has in fact supported the Kirchnersâ€™ government). Much to the oppositionâ€™s dismay, the status quo seems just as likely to continue in the Casa Rosada, the presidential palace, as it does in the mayorâ€™s offices just across Buenos Airesâ€™s central plaza.