Outgoing national deputy Fernanda Vallejos (Frente de Todos-Buenos Aires Province) poured fuel on the flames of the ruling coalition’s post-PASO crisis this week with strident criticism of President Alberto Fernández.
An 11-minute WhatsApp audio voice note, which Vallejos later admitted was made by her, quickly spread across social media on Thursday. In it, the deputy – a close ally of Buenos Aires Province Governor Axel Kicillof and Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner – described President Alberto Fernández as "sick and a squatter digging in" at the Casa Rosada, which she claimed he held "on loan" while surrounded by "useless people."
"We were all hoping that the sick squatter Alberto Fernández would last Monday be holding a press conference in an office with all the resignations on his table, telling Argentina, not that he had listened to the message of the ballot-boxes as he hypocritically said on Sunday, because he’s obviously deaf as well as blind and never listened to anybody nor learned anything from Néstor [Kirchner] nor anybody, but he didn’t. Not only didn’t but doesn’t want to," charged the ultra-Kirchnerite politician.
The recipient of the message was unnamed but reports suggested it was a leader with whom she often exchanges political analysis.
"He wants to conserve his core following of useless people who are all there occupying Casa Rosada offices on loan and have never done anything. There is no political leadership in the Cabinet because the Cabinet chief [Santiago Cafiero] is a clown," continued Vallejos, who complained: "Economic policy should have been subordinated to health policy and not to the reduction of the fiscal deficit to comply with the International Monetary Fund." Recalling how she questioned the previous president Mauricio Macri, she said: "How sad to have to say the same about somebody whom we made president."
In the message in the midst of the crisis facing the government after its PASO primary defeat, the deputy repeated her criticisms: "He’s dug in at the Casa Rosada, a squatter. This government must be relaunched. It already belongs to the past, having failed until now. They handled the pandemic, now we must turn the page and begin a new government."
She further continued: "It’s too late to cry over spilled milk. He cannot continue capriciously hanging onto his presidential mace because it’s clear he’s a tenant."
Finally, she said: "The owner of the votes, the owner of legitimacy, the owner of popular support, the basis of this government and the person who placed him there is Cristina".
Before the message went viral, Vallejos used the social networks to explain the situation: "I’ve found out that a private conversation of mine has been leaked where in the anguish caused by last Sunday’s result which reflected the suffering of our people and that we could not satisfy their aspirations, I expressed myself really inappropriately."
"I’m sorry to have offended my comrades with my words and publicly apologise. I’m sure that in the PRIVATE sphere, as human beings, we have all crossed the line at some point in our lives in the heat of the moment, having to repent afterwards," she manifested.