A highly televised public row between Argentina’s current President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and conservative newcomer – Mauricio Macri – has been playing out online in recent days.
The two political figures, of which Kirchner is Argentina’s head of State until Thursday, and Macri, president elect, are at odds about how the traditional handover, marking the end of 12 years of Kirchnerism.
Macri wants to receive the presidential baton and sash from Kirchner in Argentina’s presidential palace, the Casa Rosada, during his inauguration. However, Kirchner insists the transfer will take place in Congress.
Shouting and abuse?
It is said to be a dispute in which there is no shortage of blame and, according to Kirchner, even shouting.
“What’s going on with something as simple as a hand over of control?” The president asked in a lengthy message on her website on Sunday.
“Because I must accept that the abuse I received during a phone call between myself and the president-elect was inexplicable and almost unbelievable,” she says, referring to a conversation in which both addressed the issue of the hand over.
“I must confess that I was surprised by the president-elect’s loud shouting,” said Kirchner. She also added that Macri “seemed like a completely different person to the one who appears in the media.”
According to Semana, the president feels she has been “mistreated” by Macri.
In response, Macri has declared that Kirchner is attempting to “sabotage” his new government, to which he will be sworn in this Thursday, December 10.
“Hand over the items,”
According to Kirchner’s website post, Macri warned that “if she doesn’t want to do as he says, the Supreme Court of Justice will hand over the items.”
“It seems the idea is to fill the handing over process with obstacles and create as many problems as possible for the new government,” said Macri.
The ceremony traditionally involves handing over the baton and presidential sash, which has taken place since democracy returned to Argentina in 1983.
Kircher said that she tried to explain to Macri that the Argentine constitution states that the handover must be made in Parliament, once the new president is sworn in, and, furthermore, “the act of handing over control, by simple understanding of the text, requires the presence of two people.”
The president also said she wants to give the presidential items to Macri “as soon as possible” on Thursday due to travel plans. Kirchner will travel to the city of Rio Gallegos – in Southern Argentina – to attend the inauguration of her sister-in-law, Alicia Kirchner, as governor of the province of Santa Cruz.
“The President-elect kept on shouting and saying that is isn’t how it should be, and that I should wait in the Casa Rosada after he is sworn in and has spoken in Congress,” she stated.
“I tried to explain that after he is sworn in, I am no longer president and that’s why I have to give him the sash and baton simultaneously, and that’s when he said to me, very angrily, that l have to accompany him, because it is ‘his ceremony’, ” she added.