“I will not resign. I’m going to bank it. They want to enter the PJ through the window “. Annoyance showed in his tone quickly. His intimates, with whom he works in the municipality every day, have other forms of expression registered. That’s why they instantly realized how angry he was. I was upset. Indignant.
Fernando Gray, who governs the municipality of Esteban Echeverría since 2007 and is the current vice president of the PJ Bonaerense, has not yet digested the arrival of Maximum Kirchner to the presidency of the party. The formula that conforms to Gustavo “Tano” Menéndez has one more year in office. It expires in December of this year and wants to comply with the electoral times. He is willing to resist the arrival of Cristina Kirchner’s son until he can. Even, if necessary, alone.
Gray does not accept that they want to rush him. He feels that La Cámpora wanted to wear it to him and a handful of mayors who are close but do not show their heads to give volume to the resistance. Most of the suburban mayors did not like the ways in which Kirchnerism promoted Máximo to reach the top of the partyBut they lowered their weapons when they heard Alberto Fernández say that the son of his running mate was the best option for the presidency.
The mayors are pragmatic and know the limits within the microworld of politics. And, above all, those that exist in Buenos Aires territory, where they move with the subtlety of the fish in the water. That is why no one doubted that last Sunday, when the President said that Máximo had “All the virtues” to occupy the position, the discussion was over.
“If you are against Alberto, Cristina and Máximo, you do not have much place in Peronism”, sentenced a communal chief with experience and arrival at the Casa Rosada. Another, with a journey within the party, warned: “You may like it or not, but our party is top-down and if the President gave his opinion, there is nothing to discuss.” The majority understood that the word of the President is indisputable. Final point.
The communal chiefs, along with the governors, not only obey Fernández’s mandate, but also seek to build on him the authority that Cristina Kirchner destroys in each of her criticisms of the administration. Ultimately, it was those leaders who, from politics, forced the arrival of a candidate with a dialogist profile to the first line of Peronism. Then, the electoral move of the former president, listed them all.
Gray tries to keep a minority group of mayors, legislators and councilors aligned. He assumes that it will be difficult for him to resist the onslaught implied by the proclamation of Máximo as the new president of the PJ Bonaerense and hopes that an instrument to do so is the party’s election mechanism. Formalities that, for Kirchner’s promoters, are not a problem to take into account.
For the leader of La Cámpora to take office, he has to resign half plus one of the PJ Council of the province. There are 48 members and 24 alternates. If a holder resigns, a substitute must enter. Then, Congress must declare the party headless and, after 60 days, call for elections. In those elections, the lists that intend to compete or a single unit list would be presented, as usually happens in Peronism. Gray is confident that this process cannot be carried out with absolute normality.
In a year-end video, which he circulated on social networks on December 31, he sent a message between the lines addressed to Máximo Kirchner and the broad sector of Peronism that supports his arrival at the PJ. “Different times are coming, times of dialogue, openness and consensus come. No of impositions. Times of respect for democratic institutions in plurality and diversity are coming “, Held. More than a covert criticism, it was a declaration of war with no name and surname.
In 2017, the mayors of the first and third electoral sections of the province, where the most populated districts of Buenos Aires are, agreed that there should be an alternation in the presidency of the PJ. The “Tano” Menéndez, Merlo’s communal chief, entered the formula as a representative of the first and Gray did so for the third. With that consensus, they maintained unity and gave one more sign in the long path of gestures that Peronism traveled in the last two years before joining the Frente de Todos.
In December 2018, with a strong Kirchnerist imprint and union support, the mayor who resists the arrival of Máximo assumed the leadership of the party. At that time, former president Cristina Kirchner sent him a letter of support and Máximo received it at the Instituto Patria. Among the communal chiefs, they say that Gray is one of the most linked to Kirchnerism and that they are surprised by his harsh opposition in the new intern. “They will end it out of everything in the next few years”, he confessed to Infobae a mayor who esteems him and is characterized by balancing himself in the Peronist thread.
In the first instance, the resistance to the arrival of Máximo Kirchner had been shared with Menendez and “Juanchi” Zabaleta, the mayor of Hurlingham. None had liked the imposition of the candidate, a movement that they deny in Kirchnerism, where they say that it was the mayors who asked Máximo to be the president of the PJ and that he only asked for total consensus to occupy the place.
However, both Menéndez and Zabaleta quickly moved away from the conflict. They had already loosened their stance last week after meetings and calls led by Eduardo “Wado” De Pedro and Gabriel Katopodis to defuse the discussion and seek an agreement, and they finished accepting the arrival of Máximo when Alberto Fernández spoke last Sunday. If the President said so, the discussion is over. Both accepted that there was no point in cracking the unity of the coalition over a power debate.
The last gesture they made to make that position clear was their presence at a barbecue that took place on Wednesday in José C. Paz, where the historic Mario Ishii governs, and in which the President, Máximo Kirchner, “Wado” De Pedro, Santiago Cafiero, officials from the province of Buenos Aires and a group of mayors from the suburbs. That image tried to be a gesture of support for the president of the bloc of deputies of the Frente de Todos, but more communal leaders were needed to really have volume.
The arrival of Máximo Kirchner to the presidency of the PJ Bonaerense would be in March, at the same time that Fernández assumed the presidency of the party at the national level. The head of state wants to strengthen the Peronist unity and revalue the identity of the party. The presidency of Fernández and Kirchner is a gesture of balance of power in the coalition. That is why the Head of State also accepted the candidacy of the camper leader. The internal counterweight is synonymous with governance.
Gray will hold out as long as he can. Kirchner’s arrival at the party seems to be a fact. There is a majority consensus for it to happen. And, above all, his arrival at PJ Bonaerense has the backing of Alberto Fernández and Cristina Kirchner. There is no territorial power that can stop that decision. Most of the mayors made use of their particular political waistline and silently accepted. A heavyweight from the suburbs described him in colloquial language: “The boys did not like the ways of the arrival of Máximo. The imposition made noise. But everything is going to be directed because the President requested it ”.
I kept reading
The multiple battles of Peronism behind the arrival of Máximo Kirchner to the leadership of the PJ Bonaerense
Alberto Fernández supported Máximo Kirchner to lead the Buenos Aires PJ: “He has all the virtues”