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Designation of roles in the white bench of Deputies generated strong crosses in the internal


The topic exploded last week. In a bench meeting in which almost all the deputies of the National Party participated, Álvaro Viviano (Por la Patria) locked up hard. Words more, words less, the legislator said that the coordination of the white caucus in the lower house remains in the hands of the minority sectors Or the party will have to have two coordinators because they are not willing to be assigned to one of the large sectors.

Having two coordinators would not be a novelty for the National Party. However, in this legislature and in its role as the ruling party, in 2020 the then president of the Deputies, Martín Lema, had asked the bench to have only one to improve and unify communication. This role is not only in charge of working with the other parties, but also becomes a kind of spokesperson before the Executive Power. It is a place that gives exposure and that allows whoever occupies it to be in the decisions at the parliamentary level.

The problem arises from the different interpretations of a verbal agreement reached before the legislature begins, according to what was reported by Search and confirmed The Observer. While the small sectors state that it was decided who was going to be the coordinator each year, in All, the sector that brings together the groups that supported President Luis Lacalle in the internal one, they assure that the years were not defined.

According to the minority sectors (Por la Patria and Alianza Nacional), the agreement said that the first year the coordinator would be from Herrerismo (it was Juan Rodríguez), the second from All and the third from the minority sectors. Martín Lema, former deputy of Todos and current Minister of Social Development, did not want to take over the coordination in 2021 after being president of the chamber and that role fell to Rodrigo Goñi, from List 40 (which is also within the Todos umbrella).

However, now Aire Fresco (majority sector within Todos) he wants Pedro Jisdonian to be the coordinator and that the position of Por la Patria – which would be occupied by Viviano – remain for 2023. Fresh Air sources told The Observer that at times they felt that, after Lema left the chamber, their group was left out of the play because the “small table” of the Deputies’ caucus was handled by Goñi, Viviano and Rodríguez.

“With total legitimacy, everyone calls for coordination. It is a problem that will be resolved without major inconvenience,” Rodríguez assured The Observer. However, from the smaller sectors they do not plan to give in easily.

“In our view of things, what was defined at the beginning of the period was valid for all the rest, and that included the coordination for “the boys” this year. But not everyone sees it the same. Although the final resolution is delayed, there are to take the drama out of the matter,” Viviano assured and added that “in any case” they will return to the form of organization that the party already had with two coordinators.

At the same time, legislators have to define the president of the caucus, another role that allows the appointee to have exposure in the media. In 2020 it was Álvaro Dastugue (when he still belonged to Sartorismo), in 2021 it was Lema until he went to Mides and in 2022 it is not yet known who will be.

These decisions, which in the National Party tried to make before March 1, will be left for after March 27 so as not to show differences in the final stretch towards the referendum.

The Vice President Who Wasn’t

The negotiations that the nationalist caucus faced in the last hours were not limited only to the role of coordinator.

On Tuesday, March 8, International Women’s Day, the white deputy from Paysandú Nancy Núñez had everything ready to take office as first vice president of the Chamber of Deputies. She had prepared her inauguration speech and she was ready to, on a special day, assume a place that was going to give her some exposure.

However, a few hours before, the National Alliance told him that in the end this would not happen.

Various sources consulted by The Observer They assured that the person who intervened to prevent the assumption of Núñez was the mayor of Paysandú, Nicolás Olivera, a member of Alianza in the past but who these days is estranged. Olivera has also had a bad relationship with Núñez for several years. However, the mayor denied having participated in the negotiations on this issue.

The other name that was on the table was that of Mario Colman, a deputy for Colonia who answers to Mayor Carlos Moreira. Although the legislator is not a member of either the Alianza or Por la Patria, he moves independently near those sectors. Both groups are interested in adding Moreira to their ranks. But the name did not generate consensus either.

Failing to agree internally, the National Alliance asked Aire Fresco, the majority sector, to assume the position of vice president of the lower house. Based on the votes, the position corresponded to Alianza in 2024, but the president’s sector, in a gesture to preserve unity, had decided to cede the vice presidency to him in 2022.

On Tuesday the 15th, the deputy of Aire Fresco Alfonso Lereté took office. Núñez, to show his discrepancy with the actions of his sector, did not even vote for his partner, although he spoke with the deputy from Canelones to clarify that the problem was not with him, according to white sources.

Consulted by El Observador, Núñez preferred not to talk about this episode.

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