With tears in my eyes and a full house, Serge Massa resigned from the presidency of the Chamber of Deputies and said goodbye to the role he held for three years to finally land in the Ministry of Economy. he replaced it Cecilia Moreau, deputy of the kidney of Massa but with an excellent link with La Cámpora. Despite the abstention of Together for Change, Moreau was sworn in and became the first female president of the lower house in Argentine history. After several days of internal tension, the climate in the ruling bloc was almost festive, with an optimism that mixed the expectation for the relaunch of the national cabinet with the historic event that the two chambers of Congress will now have a woman president. The good humor, however, was interrupted at the time of the opposition speeches, when several JxC legislators questioned Moreau’s credentials and it had to be Graciela Camaño – also an opposition deputy, former bench partner of the Tigrense – the one that cut them dry.
“I am aware that I have an additional responsibility as a woman. Make no mistake, I am not going to govern this chamber with my hormones, but with my head and my political convictions“, Moreau affirmed after being sworn in as president of the Deputies and the venue erupted in applause. It was almost five in the afternoon and the three floors of boxes were full: the Minister of the Interior, Eduardo “Wado” De Pedro; officials from Buenos Aires, such as the deputy governor Verónica Magario, Cristina Álvarez Rodríguez and Nicolás Kreplak; the mayor of La Matanza, Fernando Espinoza; several senators, such as Juliana Di Tullio, Anabel Fernández Sagasti and José Mayans; the head of PAMI, Luana Volnovich; the head of INADI, Victoria Donda, among others. There was a crowd: more than a hundred guests had attended to witness Massa’s resignation and Moreau’s swearing in in a gesture of internal unity within the framework of the restructuring process that the Front of All is going through. ” There is an air of hope. Massa is a kamikaze,” said a senator, laughing.
“I promise to preside over the rules and regulations that are generated for our operation and it will be my will to manage dissent. It is not an easy task to replace those who lead me politically,” continued the deputy of the Renovating Front, while a meter away Massa, who had submitted his resignation for consideration only an hour before, watched her with a smile. Moreau’s appointment had been promoted by Massa himself, a decision that was formally adopted on Monday night but received little resistance in practice. “We are with the expectation of Massa in Economy and are we going to say no to his candidate?”, settled the question an important deputy of the ruling party.
The good bye
Beyond Moreau’s coronation, the day was marked by Massa’s farewell to the Chamber. “I want to thank each deputy. If this place taught me anything, it is to listen much more than to speakto coexist in the differences, to try until the last moment, many times with a positive result and others with a negative result, to seek agreements,” said the new Minister of Economy, after being received by a closed applause from the venue. From the boxes, some leaders chanted “Olé, olé, Sergio Sergio”.
“I am leaving with a conviction: many times I have heard that Congress is the area of agreements, that it is the place where the different political forces can find consensus. Argentina needs, beyond our passionate debate, that on some issues we have humility, tolerance and the courage to build consensus and state policies,” he added. Right in front of him, in the box on the second floor, his wife, the head of AYSA, Malena Galmarini, and one of his sons were listening to him excitedly.
The tears, however, had started early. “We made Sergio run a sniff,” a pro-government deputy was already laughing after the block meeting that had been held at noon. At the meeting, held behind closed doors on the third floor of the palace, the FdT troops received Massa with applause that made him move before giving them some final words of encouragement and farewell. “We must not be petty. Now we must all go forward together”, he exhorted. Then Cecilia Moreau took the post, sitting next to her next to the head of the block, German Martinez. She was also moved when she thanked her peers for their trust. She was not present, however, Maximo Kirchner, who was also one of the last to arrive at the venue (and, simultaneously, one of the first to hug Sergio Massa when the former president of the Chamber formalized his resignation and got down from his chair). The bloc meeting ended with all the deputies singing the Peronist march.
“We propose her to Cecilia for four reasons: for her career in militancy, for her unwavering commitment to the FdT, for her ttrajectory politics and, lastly, for her remarkable human quality”, highlighted Germán Martínez at the time of proposing Moreau as president of the body. Although the FdT finally obtained the majority support of the opposition –JxC and the left abstained, United Provinces accompanied, like part of the Federal Interbloc–, the festive atmosphere in the ruling party was cut off when the deputies of JxC explained the reasons for their abstention. “We have nothing to celebrate,” started the PRO deputy Waldo Wolff, immediately rousing the whistles from the venue. “The courteous does not take away the brave, we wish Moreau good luck and hopefully he can have the imprint that Martínez described and that I do not share,” he launched, while questioning her for the incorporation of the word “negligence” in the law of purchase of vaccines against Covid 19.
“We are in a moment of great institutional weakness. In recent days there has been talk of acephaly, of early elections,” questioned Juan Manuel López (CC), while Marcelo Casaretto (FdT) responded to the shouts from his bench: “Those were your”. Rodrigo De Loredo (Evolution) took the opportunity to ask Massa to “decline his candidacy for 2023” to “give a sign of confidence to Argentina.”
The deputy who received much of the applause was Graciela Camano. “I’d like to understand what’s going on. What do they blame Moreau for? That she didn’t deserve it because she was ‘the daughter of’. And about the vaccine. I mean that when she made the motion, everyone voted for it,” shot the former Massa’s bank partner (who, however, did not comment on her resignation). “She is a radical and I am a Peronist. She militated in favor of abortion and I voted against it. She went with the Kirchnerists and I stayed out with the opposition. Period. No one can deny her militancy, work and honorary course of the politics that it has,” he stressed and, with greater effusiveness, referred to the historical importance of having a woman occupying the presidency of the Chamber for the first time: “Today when Cecilia sits there with the majority vote, we are going to have a female legislature. You, Cecilia, are going to be in the history books“, he shouted, with emotion. At the end, Moreau stood up from his bench and gave him a hug.
the other swears
Massa’s resignation from the Presidency of Deputies not only led to Moreau’s swearing in, but also to the assumption of Juan Marino as the new FdT deputy. In this sense, at the end of the session, Marino, who is the founder of the Piquetero Party, also took the opportunity to swear an oath and thus be able to occupy the seat vacated by Massa. “For the Universal Basic Salary, so that the debt is paid by those who escaped it, long live the student struggle, long live the workers’ and picketers’ struggle, long live the struggle of everyone,” Marino said.