BUENOS AIRES – Capital Mayor Mauricio Macri, the standard-bearer of the Argentine right in this year’s presidential contest, taunted the national government Monday over its candidate’s poor performance in the election to choose the next mayor of Buenos Aires.
The representative of Macri’s PRO party, Horacio Rodriguez Larreta, finished first in Sunday’s balloting, with 45.5 percent of the vote, and will face center-left hopeful Martin Lousteau in a runoff on July 19.
The mayoral candidate of President Cristina Kirchner’s FpV finished third, as did the party’s nominee for governor of the central province of Cordoba.
“In Cordoba and in the capital, 80 percent of the population did not go with the national government,” Macri said Monday at a press conference.
The capital city and Cordoba are the country’s fourth- and second-largest electoral districts, respectively.
FpV members “are worried because they don’t want to lose the power they have administered arbitrarily all these years,” Macri said.
The FpV was founded as a current within the Peronist party by President Fernandez’s late husband and predecessor, Nestor Kirchner, who governed from 2003-2007.
Kirchner chose not to seek a second term and Fernandez led the FpV to victory in the 2007 and 2011 presidential elections, but is barred by term limits from running again. The party will be represented in the October election by Buenos Aires provincial Gov. Daniel Scioli.
In Cordoba, the ruling Union for Cordoba – a dissident Peronist faction – retained the governor’s office in Sunday’s voting.
Current opinion polling shows Scioli leading in the presidential race, followed by Macri, scion of an industrial dynasty and former president of popular soccer club Boca Juniors.