Matthei-Sichel dispute entangles the ruling presidential scene



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A telematic meeting was held yesterday morning by the presidential candidate Sebastián Sichel with his closest team, including Juan José Santa Cruz. On the occasion, according to those present, an issue that generated concern in the environment of the former minister was addressed: the statements of the Mayor of Providencia, Evelyn Matthei (UDI), who has aspirations to compete in the presidential primary of Chile Vamos.

“Sichel is the candidate of the businessmen (…), of LyD, who does not want to lose influence and of politicians who do not want to lose power,” said Matthei in an interview with El Mostrador, adding that it would be “tremendous political irresponsibility” to pass him the command to “a person who is not tested” and who “has just arrived in the sector.”

The former minister also pointed to Freedom and Development Institute, arguing that “It is obvious that a good part of their equipment is being built from there”, along with pointing out that “Andrés Chadwick Jr. was the journalist for Libertad y Desarrollo and he went to work with Sichel; they have invited him, they have given him great ovations, and I hope that the Center for Public Studies (CEP) is not doing the same ”.

The sayings of Matthei they stressed the official presidential race and they ended up messing up the stage. This, since during the telematic appointment several of the Sichel environment transmitted that it was necessary to ask the leaders of Chile Vamos that this should not be the spirit in the sector, especially when it had been said that there would be a commitment to “fair play” between the standard-bearers of the center-right. Otherwise, according to those present, the former minister was recommended to evaluate going straight to the first round if that spirit continues in Chile Vamos.

In fact, Santa Cruz, in an interview with La Tercera PM, said yesterday that “If the conditions are not met in Chile Come on, we have no fear of going to the first round”, adding that “I would like to know if Chile Vamos validates this type of campaign.”

Matthei’s statements come after he met with the other presidential officials in the sector in December –Mario Desbordes (RN) and Joaquín Lavín (UDI)-, an appointment to which Sichel was not invited and in which a clean campaign with “fair play” was agreed. In fact, Matthei later met with Felipe Kast (Evópoli), with whom he agreed the same, while Lavín met with Sichel last week. On that occasion, according to those who knew about the meeting, it was also agreed that there should be no “friendly fire.”

Matthei’s redesign for the presidential elections

In Sichel’s environment they assure that the former Minister of Social Development had written to Matthei on Tuesday to meet. However, from the mayor’s team they maintain that she called him, but that there was no response or returned her calls.

There are those who in the ruling party attribute Matthei’s sayings to the fact that he believes that Sichel is not the appropriate card for the sector and because he Political “endorsements” he has, which, in his opinion, would be Andres Chadwick and Andrés Allamand. In the environment of Sichel, meanwhile, they attribute it to the rise of the former minister in surveys.

Under this scenario, Santa Cruz was not the only one who responded to Matthei, but also Sichel himself. “It is trying to hurt to build an image”, said. And he added: “I was 12 years old in the year 90. I turned on the TV and there were many of these candidates around, among them, Evelyn Matthei. And that policy that was, they remember, of espionage, drug accusations, a whole way of doing old politics in which we were more concerned with destroying the front line than with contributing to a common project hurt me a lot. Today I saw the statements (from Matthei), and it seems that there are hints of that still in her.

Earlier, he had said on Radio Agriculture that “it seems pathetic to me that someone is still saying that I am someone’s candidate,” and he described Matthei’s attitude as a “Politics of elbow” and “nineties”.

The cross statements set off alarms at La Moneda. In fact, according to official sources, the Minister of the Segegob, Jaime Bellolio, discussed the issue with some helmsmen from Chile Vamos, including the UDI, Javier Macaya, to ask them to help “calm things down”.

The steps of Desbordes and Sichel to design their presidential strategies

In La Moneda, they also maintain that although there is still no official instruction, the ministers and undersecretaries must maintain disregard in front of the presidential candidates of the sector with a view to avoiding conflicts and only supporting the standard-bearer chosen in the primaries. “I take it for granted that the President will ask us to support only the final candidate”says a minister.

In that sense, in the bloc the possibility that Sichel could reach the first round directly, as this could increase the dispersion of votes and, therefore, that it could end up representing a defeat for the sector.

“We cannot waste the energy that the unit generates. We have managed to change the logic of confrontation and competition for generosity and complementarity. And that must also run for our presidential candidates. This controversy may cloud the moment of unity that we were able to generate, ”said Macaya.

Regarding the option for Sichel to go straight to the first round, he added: “We hope that we get through this and that scenario doesn’t happen. The primary must be given to all those in our sector who want to compete ”.

The deputy and vice president of RN, Thomas FuentesMeanwhile, he criticized Matthei’s statements and indicated that “He is wrong with the politics of the elbows, we are no longer in the 90s, where politics was black or white.”

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