Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, Patricia Bullrich, Humberto Schiavoni, Omar De Marchi and Federico Angelini
Slowly and silently, a group of 30 PRO leaders from the interior, among whom are legislators, mayors and provincial party authorities, is developing a pole of power of its own to confront the “porteñismo” of the group founded by Mauricio Macri, achieve greater participation in the decisions and elaborate “a government plan with a federal perspective”.
The secret conversations began a little over two months ago, after the legislative elections in which Together for Change obtained a resounding victory in 13 of the 24 provinces, although the PRO representatives of the provinces previously felt a shake when the candidates: “We saw that many decisions that were made in Buenos Aires ended up affecting the entire country. The most emblematic case occurred with the closing of the lists because until the conflict between Horacio (Rodríguez Larreta) and Patricia (Bullrich) was resolved, the districts were adrift. There many of us felt that in the party there had to be a federal look, “one of the members of this brand new political sector told Infobae.
As the days went by, moreover, those same PRO leaders from the interior verified that they were relegated not only from the great political definitions of the party but also from more places in the new JxC National Table. In recent days, even, the discomfort has increased by the indications that both Rodríguez Larreta and Bullrich informally started their campaigns to contest the 2023 presidential candidacy and that incipient fight began to condition the PRO throughout the country.
“We understand that it is a mistake to anticipate the presidential candidacies a year and a half because it is to be against the urgencies of society. It makes us all go into electoral mode and divorce people. If there is something that has always characterized the PRO and strengthened it, it is being close to what society expects from the political leadership,” a reference from the interior told Infobae.
The power of Buenos Aires in the PRO, in the spotlight: Diego Santilli, María Eugenia Vidal, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, Mauricio Macri and Patricia Bullrich
This group does not yet have a name, although some want to call themselves “PRO Federal”. There is also no clear leadership, its members clarify, because it is a structure that was born horizontally and will seek to stay that way. Its members include, among others, the head of the PRO senators’ bloc, Humberto Schiavoni, from Misiones; the national deputy and vice president of the national PRO Federico Angelini, from Santa Fe; the national deputy Omar De Marchi, from Mendoza; the head of the Santa Fe PRO, Cristian Cunha; the president of the PRO of La Rioja, Julio Sahad; the former Minister of Tourism of Cambiemos Gustavo Santos, from Córdoba; the national deputy and head of the PRO of Río Negro, Aníbal Tortoriello; the national deputy and president of the PRO of Mendoza, Alvaro Martínez; the president of the PRO in Formosa and provincial deputy Enrique Ramírez; the president of the PRO of Tierra del Fuego and national deputy, Héctor Stefani; the national deputy José Núñez, from Santa Fe, and the former national deputy Osmar Monaldi, from Jujuy.
Curiously (or not so much), neither Bullrich, the party’s president, nor Rodríguez Larreta, the leader in the emblematic district of the PRO, are aware of this germ of provincial rebellion that is taking shape in their own ranks, although its members plan to hold meetings with both when they are better organized. For now, among them there were informal talks in the corridors or some offices of Congress, two Zooms, many WhatsApp and one goal: to hold the first meeting of the thirty leaders of the Federal PRO in February, perhaps in the city of Córdoba, as a form of official presentation.
Next week, some 20 members of this group will have a preliminary meeting in the City of Buenos Aires to advance in the internal organization, but they know that when this note is published they will be exposed as rebels who want to challenge the Buenos Aires leaders. “We are not in favor of Horacio or Patricia, nor against any of them,” one of their leaders clarified. We want to add We aim to strengthen the PRO, for the interior to have more interference in decisions at the national level, to regain prominence in the candidacies so that they are not chosen by hand, to play a more important role in JxC and for the PRO to win the internal the coalition and then the presidential elections, and that we have more participation in a future government”.
Gustavo Santos and Mauricio Macri
However, the one who knows this provincial move of the PRO is Mauricio Macri: some of the referents from the interior told him about his objectives and assure that the former president “sees it with very good eyes”. In the talks they had with him, they say that he was enthusiastic because this group “implies a growth of the leaders of the interior without depending on anyone in Buenos Aires.”
Despite the approach to the former president, the Federal PRO makes a strong self-criticism of his administration: “It is necessary to build a federal government plan. One of the problems of the management of Cambiemos was the large number of officials from Buenos Aires that there were -said an exponent of the group-. Even the director of National Parks was from the City of Buenos Aires. We did not lose the 2019 elections because of that, but it ended up affecting us not having a greater idea of federalism in government plans.”
Some of the referents of the interior, in privacy, charge the inks against the head of the City Government: “Larretismo does not have a federal vision and Patricia (Bullrich) does not either -considered one of them-, but Horacio (Rodríguez Larreta) he is the one who is most committed to organizing the campaign. He has already set up two tables, one operational and the other strategic, where he only has a collection of porteños”.
Luis Juez, Carolina Losada and Rogelio Frigerio united before the advance of “porteño centralism”
In the Federal PRO they maintain that certain incursions of the Buenos Aires leaders in the interior are counterproductive. Rodríguez Larreta, for example, will be in Córdoba this weekend, where, almost during the campaign, he will attend the Cosquín Festival, he will appear with La Mona Jiménez, he will share a barbecue with leaders of his party and then he will meet with the radical Mario Negri and with Luis Judge. There are those who assure that these last contacts will shake up the internal ones in the provincial PRO and in a sector of the UCR that are opposed to both leaders. The same thing would happen with the food that Diego Santilli, the Larreta political point guard, and Judge had this week.
This initiative that arises from the interior has points of contact with the meeting last November between Rogelio Frigerio (PRO), from Entre Ríos; Luis Juez (Frente Cívico), from Córdoba, and Carolina Losada (UCR), from Santa Fe: after their resounding victories in the last elections, they will seek to gain space in the decisions of Together for Change and work on an agenda for the Central Region so that a “federal gaze” prevails against the “porteño centralism” that, according to the complaint, predominates in the opposition coalition.
In the PRO, is the new provincial power bloc an enemy of the City of Buenos Aires? From inside, an organizer of the group warned: “We are not enemies of anyone, but we do not want the entire dynamic of the party to go through porteñoization.”
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