For now it has no official name, but in “a few weeks” the new Seregnista wing will be launched. It is a “third leg” of the Wide Front, an alliance that includes the Renovation Force, the Uruguay Assembly, the Christian Democratic Party, the Humanist Movement, the Plataforma, Claveles Rojos and the former Interior Minister Daisy Tourné. There is still dialogue with other sectors to expand it; Among them, as El País learned, are the Artiguista Slope and the New Space.
The first agreement reached was finalized last week, when they approved a joint statement in support of the candidacy of Fernando Pereira What President of the Broad Front. But the tuning goes far beyond the electoral; it goes through the political and programmatic, since a consensus document is being drawn up.
“We felt that a greater convergence in political action was necessary, and the first step that was shown was to produce a statement associated with the political electoral process on the way to the December 5 election,” the senator from Fuerza Renovadora told El País. Mario Bergara.
The preliminary agreement involved betting on a figure (such as Fernando Pereira) that does not generate a “fratricidal dispute,” explained the legislator. They sought to avoid what happened in the previous presidency (of Javier Miranda) where, according to Bergara, the leadership “was not powerful” because there was “a lot of fragmentation” in the support.
After finding the candidate, the objective became to seal the programmatic coincidences in a common document and, as a final touch, the Seregnist wing will be presented “in society” in a “few weeks”. That is, before the December internships.
This seeks to strengthen the “third leg” within the FA (the other two are represented by the Popular Participation Movement and the Communist Party with socialists). “Because of political process and renewal, this wing was more scattered in the last election, but now it points to a greater confluence. I think the FA is strengthened, ”Bergara said.
The alliance – which will bring together sectors that add up to 40% of the FA’s votes in the last elections – “is not designed to weaken the other legs” of the left. “They all have to be powerful,” clarified the senator. As he said, the lesson is to put aside past profiling in which “sectoral interests were given more priority” than collective ones.
Meanwhile, internally, the new current will function through a “coordination table” between the sectors, which will cover both the parliamentary arena and action in the FA bodies.
One of the central points of this agreement involves the renewal of historical leadership figures such as the one represented by the former Minister of Economy Danilo Astori in the Líber Seregni Front.
“Once the electoral process is finished, the name of colleagues who want to be part of this new leadership structure is being chosen,” said Bergara, who today is one of the main figures within this new bloc, among whom are also the former director of OPP Álvaro García, the former Secretary of the Presidency Juan Andrés Roballo or Senator José Carlos Mahía.
Fuerza Renovadora formally joined the FA this year, but it was created two years ago, after Bergara resigned from the Central Bank to dedicate himself fully to the campaign. He ran as a presidential candidate and was elected senator.
Asked if the leader feels capable of continuing Astori’s legacy, Bergara replied: “I have total respect for the figure of Astori and Danilo, affection; but each one has its own mark ”. “Needless to say, the Seregnist wing is not re-founded, it has an inescapable background,” he added, referring to what was at the time the Liber Seregni Front.
In Congress on October 2, the Broad Front will conclude its self-criticism process. For Bergara, the loss of government It was a “major defeat” in which the left lost votes in different segments, both in the middle class and in the most popular sectors.
Bergara said that “it is natural and healthy” that the middle class “demanded more”, although the FA at that time “did not know how to change the chip and give the most appropriate responses.”
“Self-criticism is centered on understanding that we had lost a bridge of dialogue with many social sectors and with sectors of the countryside, with young people and the middle class. The objective is to rebuild those links ”, he concluded.
“He is puzzled and sometimes aggressive to the government”
-Did the Front adapt to being the opposition?
-I see the most powerful FA today. Undoubtedly, the delivery of the 800,000 signatures empowered the opposition and puzzled the government. They are seen to be bewildered and sometimes aggressive; in the interpellation to Luis Alberto Heber it was clear. There were harsh speeches from those of us who were not used to seeing. With regard to the referendum, it generated many doubts in the internal FA that was to arrive.
Virtually no one thought it would be achieved. Many sectors thought that it was more feasible to go the short way of collecting, which were firms that were going to get together, and then fight the political battle to reach 25% of the electoral roll. The truth is, I’m glad I was wrong.
-What do you attribute the signatures to?
-People signed or are going to vote in the referendum for multiple dimensions. One is the articles, but also the perception of how the government is doing. The government was eroding as the economic and social deterioration became more noticeable, and the pandemic was no longer the main focus of attention. There are also specific events, such as the increase in fuels.
-The Secretary of the Presidency, Álvaro Delgado, said that this will not be a campaign against the LUC but against the government.
-It’s not how we formulate it. For us it is neither a midterm election, nor do we have to vote for or against the government. We really want negative norms for the country in security, education, housing, labor rights and financial inclusion to be repealed. Security is a difficult issue to discuss, for the government and the opposition, because in society there is not a perfect alignment between political positions and the perspective of the problem. A year or so of the new government showed that it was not blowing and making bottles; things have not improved substantially. In security, you have to go fine to what the LUC says, not to the generic discussion of the subject. It is a complex issue. It is not resolved by shouting louder.
-Why did you name financial inclusion as a central aspect?
-In terms of financial inclusion there are scandalous things. For example, the issue that wages should not be paid electronically. We know that this generates informality, evasion. The financial freedom thing is misleading because the worker loses freedom.
-Do you think it is an easy way to get to the repeal of the LUC?
– No, it is clear that the government and the coalition are going out to fight, a political discussion that is healthy. It will be adjusted (the result), but I am optimistic.
-What is your opinion of the episode that ended with the resignation of the Minister of Tourism Germán Cardoso?
-If there were irregularities, they must be reported, as did the FA, and that the Justice act as it should. It seems to me that Cardoso’s retruque tries to be a smokescreen with respect to the previous period.
-The FA talks about cuts in the economy, but Minister Azucena Arbeleche is one of the best evaluated in the polls. Why does that happen?
-We do not compare management with a survey. We have a critical vision of economic policy and of what was the specific management of the pandemic. More should have been helped, but the government continued to prioritize a cutback logic, which it celebrates as savings. And in a context where the effects of these policies were also very negative for the economy, because the Uruguayan economy was damaged more or the same as neighboring countries.
-The president announced a possible FTA with China. Do you share this path?
-What is being announced are feasibility studies for an agreement with China. Welcome that the Chinese government decides to take a step in this direction; we see it with good eyes. In the previous government there were about 16 exchange notes between the Uruguayan and Chinese foreign ministries. In 2017, a feasibility study was carried out, that is, we live this process. Then it came to nothing, more than nothing on the Chinese side. Hopefully it moves forward and there is a better perspective. It is necessary to weigh economically and politically the beneficiaries and the losers.