10/28/2013 Buenos Aires Herald
Workersâ€™ Leftist Front takes three seats in Lower House
October 28, 2013
The Workersâ€™ Leftist Front (FIT) secured historic victories yesterday, winning its first three seats in the Lower House of Congress and securing spots for provincial lawmakers.
In Salta, the front finished second in the Lower House election and put in a strong showing in Buenos Aires City and in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Mendoza, CÃ³rdoba and Jujuy. At press time, with over 78 percent of the vote counted, results indicated the party had expanded its presence across the country, taking five percent of the national vote â€” one percent higher than in the primaries on August 11.
FITâ€™s best showing was in Salta, where the party won an historic second-place finish, with candidate Pablo LÃ³pez earning a congressional seat with 28 percent of the vote.
In Mendoza, FITâ€™s Nicolas del CaÃ±o won a seat as the front finished third with 14 percent of the national congressional vote. The party also won a seat in Buenos Aires province, as candidate NÃ©stor Pitrola won a seat, and in Buenos Aires Cityâ€™s legislature, with Marcelo Ramal taking five percent.
However, there was disappointment as party leader Jorge Altamira failed to win in the National Congress for Buenos Aires City, as competition from AutodeterminaciÃ³n y Libertad Party leader Luis Zamora divided the leftist vote. FIT won fourth place with 96,000 votes against Zamoraâ€™s partyâ€™s 64,000. It was bittersweet result for Altamira, who tried to get the popular leftist leader to align himself with his party prior to the general election, with Zamora (himself once a Lower House lawmaker) refusing.
Historically, the countryâ€™s far-left parties have been held back by their divisions, but FIT has flourished since its creation two years ago, when the Labour Party, the Socialists Workersâ€™ Party and the Leftist Socialists joined together to stand for elected office.
In the first 2011 primaries election, just after the frontâ€™s formation, they secured 2.2 percent of the vote, allowing them to pass the 1.5 percent threshold needed to compete in the congressional elections. But in the end, they were unable to get their candidates to congress. In yesterdayâ€™s vote, the Workersâ€™ Leftist Front finally broke the glass ceiling, winning five percent of the national vote, expanding their national presencem and, for the first time, winning seats in Congress.
The frontâ€™s first goal was to gain seats in Congress. It will seek to form a party bloc, despite now being a small one, composed of just a few lawmakers.
FIT provincial candidate Miryam Bregman said that those candidates who won seats would â€œdemocraticallyâ€ share the duties with other list candidates who didnâ€™t manage to win a position.