Mauricio Macri asked
Argentina to “vote
for the future” in the
this weekend, as he drew campaigning to a close on Thursday night in Vicente López.
After weeks of campaigning,
the president’s Juntos por el
Cambio coalition closed off its
pitch to voters in Greater Buenos Aires, where María Eugenia Vidal is facing what analysts
are calling “the mother of all
battles” to win re-election.
The Buenos Aires Province
governor faces a strong challenge from former economy
minister and Frente de Todos
challenger Axel Kicillof in a
crucial race for the country’s
“Bonaerenses, do not miss
this opportunity, don’t lose María Eugenia Vidal,” declared
Macri from a 360-degree circular stage in the middle of the
Centro Asturiano on Thursday,
as he addressed a crowd of supporters and key allies.
In contrast to many of his
campaign stops, the president
dedicated much of his speech
to Vidal and her governance of
the province, which she won in
2015, defeating Kirchnerite
candidate Aníbal Fernández.
“I want to tell the people of
Buenos Aires that they never
have to doubt the level of dedication and love that this woman has for the province and
for each person in the province,” declared Macri. “She will
be there because she has courage, capacity, tenacity, and all
that combines into a unique
Pleading with voters in the
region to back her again in the
PASOs, Macri described Vidal
as “a lioness” and asked voters
to once again choose to leave
behind “so many years of neglect” and back his coalition’s
“You don’t know the admiration, affection and respect I
have for this woman,” said Macri, welling up with tears.
Catching his breath, the
crowd broke into chants of
“Yes we can.”
There was some time for levity, however. The president
explained to the crowd that he
was emotional because it was
international Day of the Cat – a
reference to the opposition
branding of him as a ‘gato.’
‘THE PRIORITY IS YOU’
Like the president, Vidal herself became emotional during
her address to the crowd, as
she told voters that “her heart
was in the 17 million people that live in this province” and
asked them to “continue holding my hand.”
The governor told Argentines they should back Juntos
por el Cambio on Sunday “not
only because it is a right, but
because it is a huge opportunity to decide with your voice.”
“I am not here for the position. I did not come to get rich.
I came to take on the fights
that nobody wanted to take
on, so we can live better,” she
“The priority is you, it is
your children, it is your family.
The priority for me is not a
face without a name, for me
they have a face, a name, a
surname,” said Vidal.
The importance of the election in Buenos Aires Province
was illustrated by the attendance of many key Juntos por
el Cambio figures at the event.
As well as the coalition’s first
candidate for national deputy
in the region, Cristian Ritondo, and Macri’s vice-presidential running-mate, Peronist
senator Miguel Ángel Pichetto, key politicians such as
Vice-President Gabriela Michetti, Cabinet Chief Marcos
Peña; City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta and Foreign
Minister Jorge Faurie were in
attendance. Candidate for senator in the City, Martín Lousteau, now back in the fold, was
Closing his speech and raising his voice, in the manner
that has become typical of his
latest campaign appearances,
President Macri declared
“this Sunday is very important,” adding that “uncertainty hurts us.”
“It will define if we continue
towards the future or return
to the past. It will define if we
continue to fight against drugtrafficking, mafias and corruption,” he declared.
Following his passionate address, the president will now
hope for a few moments of
calm as he awaits the results
on Sunday’s vote.
On Friday, the Juntos por el
Cambio leader huddled at the
Olivos presidential residence
with his most important
allies, including his vice-presidential running-mate Pichetto, Marcos Peña, Interior
Minister Rogelio Frigerio,
María Eugenia Vidal and Horacio Rodríguez Larreta.
He will cast his vote on Sunday morning at a school in Palermo, before lunching with
Sunday evening, he will
await results at his party’s
bunker in Costa Salguero, eagerly awaiting the final results
of the PASOs.