Argentine Leader Vows to Unify Coalition Amid Offers to Quit

Argentine Leader Vows to Unify Coalition Amid Offers to Quit

14:54 - President Alberto Fernandez vowed to keep his broad, ruling coalition unified on Thursday a day after several cabinet ministers offered to quit.

“Now isn’t the time to raise disputes that derail us,” Fernandez said in a Twitter thread, adding that he’ll “continue guaranteeing the unity” of his alliance, Frente de Todos.

Fernandez is battling a political crisis after the coalition’s damaging loss in a midterm primary vote on Sunday. Several ministers closely allied to Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who governed the nation from 2007 to 2015, offered to resign on Wednesday.

Kirchner hasn’t commented since the election defeat Sunday. The aftermath has laid bare the coalition’s internal divide between Fernandez’s moderate wing and Kirchner’s more radical supporters, ahead of congressional elections in November.

Fernanda Vallejos, a lawmaker aligned with Kirchner, inadvertently revealed how the vice president’s camp feels about Fernandez in a profanity-laden audio message. Vallejos, who apologized Thursday for the post-election audio getting leaked to the press, lambasted Fernandez as a hypocrite, labeled his cabinet chief “a joker,” and insisted Economy Minister Martin Guzman should have resigned.

Fernandez “is a squatter because he doesn’t have any votes, he doesn’t have legitimacy,” Vallejos said in the leaked voice message. “Cristina represents the voice of the Argentine people -- the people speak from her mouth, not from Alberto’s.”

The presidency’s press office didn’t immediately reply to calls and written messages seeking comment.

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