The Left´s Election. The FIT Unidad is the third Force and the MST advances

Argentina: Propuesta del MST a los partidos de la Mesa Nacional del FIT-Unidad

By Sergio Garcia

One of the main news on Sunday night was that the Left emerged as the third force in the country, an important achievement. We did it with a very important vote of the Frente de Izquierda Unidad, surpassing one million votes in these primaries, with the sum of the votes of the two lists that competed within it. Our 10R list had an important national election, and the parties that rejected unity with the FITU were weakened. What follows are our conclusions and data that support them.

Campaign closing rally of Buenos Aires and Capital Federal
Photo by Virginia Chaile

One of the main events of the election is that the Left emerged as the third national force, with the Frente de Izquierda Unidad obtaining more than 1 million votes, surpassing 5% nationally. This is a decisive political achievement of which we are proudly part, having contributed our campaign and our own votes. The place achieved by the FIT Unidad is a very good base from which to go now to the general elections on November 14. While for weeks all the press spoke about the growth of other phenomena to the right, from the left we placed ourselves above these phenomena nationally and only in the City of Buenos Aires with Milei could they advance a little more.

Among the important numbers that obtained by the left, there were very prominent votes, such as those achieved by the two FIT-U lists: Jujuy 23%, Province of Buenos Aires 5.2%, CABA 6.2%, Chubut 9.4%, Neuquén 7.8 %, San Juan 6.9%, Santa Cruz 7.8%, Salta 5%, La Rioja 5% and Mendoza 4.9%, among other important votes. They are signals that in the face of the austerity applied by the previous and current governments, and in face of the debates between both sides of the false divide, an important section of the population opted for the Left that is united in our front.

At the same time, the results also show the true reality of the forces of the Left in the electoral arena, both of those of us who are part of the FIT-U and of other forces that are outside of it and had poor results, paying the price for their divisive stance.

In the case of the FITU as a whole, the two lists obtained more than 1,000,000 votes, something that had not been achieved in previous primary elections. This now places the challenge of maintaining and trying to expand those numbers for November, to fight in various parts of the country to obtain congressional seats with the support of a section of the workers and the youth.

Progress of the MST in the FIT-U primaries

The important number of votes obtained in the primaries by the FITU are product of both the votes of List 1A (PTS of Bregman and Del Caño, PO, IS and other sectors) and the novelty of the 10(R) “Revolutionize the Left” list that we promoted with Bodart, Cele Fierro and other MST referents throughout the country, that obtained more than 280,000 votes, that is almost 30% of the total votes of the front. Thus the MST clearly becomes one of the main forces of the FITU, as the other list (“1A”), formed by 3 parties and several other organizations, got the rest, an amount that is not divided equally between the three, but with clear differences in force among them.

Within the results obtained by the list of the MST within the FIT Unidad, the victories we achieved in Salta, San Juan, La Rioja and Entre Ríos stand out. The very important results in Mendoza, Jujuy, Río Negro, Neuquén, Santa Fe, Córdoba, Catamarca, La Pampa, among others. The good election in the City of Buenos Aires (CABA) and the very important result in the province of Buenos Aires where our numbers are close to 20% of the FITU votes.

These results, as a whole, reflect progress by those of us who propose that the FIT Unidad advances, on the basis of its anti-capitalist and socialist program, opens up, changes and surpasses itself. That is why we believe that now, in light of the results, neither the specific weight that the MST represents nor the ideas and proposals that we defend, and with which we achieved a more than respectable amount of electoral support among workers and the youth throughout the country, can be ignored.

This support we received for our politics, and which gained a lot of visibility throughout the campaign, contrasts with a more blurred campaign of the PO comrades who lost positions and visibility, in addition to a strong defeat in Salta. And it contrasts even more with the place of Izquierda Socialista that almost everywhere remains submerged behind the politics and the candidacies of the PTS and the PO without any political influence, a lot of conservatism and an anachronistic discourse that denies the different perspectives, and tries to cover them under single-thought. In short, a regrettable politics that is not at all related to what we must do on the Left if we want to move towards becoming a great alternative. Unfortunately, some of these important results achieved by our Left Front-MST lists, starting with the one won in Jujuy, may end up not being reflected in any bench that is achieved, given the undemocratic nature of the electoral regulations imposed by list 1A. We believe that, on this issue, the parties that make up that list should reflect and be open to modifying the electoral regulations that are foreign to the left. It is necessary to do so to reflect reality, and to respect the voters of the left, beyond the different percentages that a list achieves in this or that province. Failure to do so weakens the front in perspective and questions it; because we must be completely democratic with those of us and set an example to attract other sectors that may come tomorrow. For that, always integrating all the lists into any rotation that is achieved, according to the time that the voters decided and without any floor, is the only democratic method that the left has if we want to strengthen ourselves.

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Political setback of the New MAS

With these numbers, the MST also came out of these elections well above the national numbers of the New MAS, which only obtained about 130,000 votes, less than half of what the MST obtained. And with very marginal votes in key districts such as CABA, Córdoba or Santa Fe, among others.

In addition, in the strategic province of Buenos Aires our candidate Alejandro Bodart reached close to 20% of the votes of the FITU in his first election in the district, and clearly surpassed the main public figure of the Nuevo MAS, Manuela Castañeira, who comes out of this election weakened. Bodart also surpassed Altamira of Politica Obrera by a much wider margin. In the City of Buenos Aires, in spite of competing with highly installed candidates our comrade Cele Fierro obtained 14% of the votes of the Front and far surpassed Ramal of Política Obrera and Winokur of the Nuevo MAS. These two forces that systematically rejected the proposals of unity that we made them come out of the elections very weakened, paying the price for a divisive and personalist orientation that garnered very little support.

Del Caño, Bregman, Fierro and Bodart

Conclusions and challenges

With these general numbers we enter a new stage within the Left. The FITU emerges as the main force of the Left and the third national force, and in particular, the ideas that the MST in the FIT Unidad put forward throughout the campaign come out stronger and more installed: the need for the Left to surpass itself, to strengthen itself, to put aside sectarian and dogmatic traits, to open up and convene broadly to transform itself into a true alternative for power.

With those ideas we arrived strongly to September 12, we will continue our efforts towards the general elections in common lists of the FITU, and we will continue in the medium and long term giving this political fight to leave behind everything that sets us back in the task of becoming an alternative. Only three days have passed since the elections and the government entered a new political crisis that reflects the weakness in which it finds itself, and the opportunity to attract more sectors of its social base towards the left. For that we need to have the greatest audacity to convene and no fear of the debate of ideas and proposals within the left. The fact that more voices have been heard in these FITU primaries strengthens us to such an extent that the sum of both lists allowed us to be third force nationally and also in key places such as the province of Buenos Aires. We have to continue and deepen this direction if we truly believe that we can be an alternative of power, a reference and organization channel for thousands, in all areas of struggle and far beyond the upcoming elections.