Antonio Bussi wins Tucuman governor race
From: Various Sources, Reuter, Associated press, others...
Date: July 3 to July 6, 1995


Retired general Antonio Domingo Bussi of the provincial rightwing party Republican Force won elections for governor held on July 2 in the small northern Argentine province of Tucuman. Preliminary unofficial projections gave Bussi 43% of the vote to 27.9% for the Justicialista (Peronist) Party, 22.3% for the Radical Civic Union (UCR) and 1.7% for the leftist coalition Front for a Country in Solidarity (FREPASO). [El Daily News 7/4/95 from Reuter] In addition to choosing a governor on July 2, Tucuman's 760,000 eligible voters also elected a vice-governor, 40 provincial legislators, 19 mayors and a number of municipal council members, as well as 93 commissioners in rural areas. [El Diario-La Prensa 7/3/95 from AP]

Peronist candidate Olijela del Valle Rivas charged that her party was ahead with 36.4% to Bussi's 32.5%, with 23.2% for the UCR's Rodolfo Campero. Del Valle also charged that opinion poll results showing a Bussi victory were broadcast before the voting booths had closed, in violation of electoral rules. If his victory is confirmed by the final results, Bussi is due to be sworn in on Dec. 10 as Tucuman's new governor. [EDN 7/4/95 from Reuter] Seven other provinces will hold elections before the end of this year, and the city of Buenos Aires will the first time directly elect its mayor and hold a plebiscite on its future legal status. [EDN 7/3/95 from AP]

The Peronists staved off a Bussi victory in Tucuman four years ago by running the popular singer Ramon "Palito" Ortega for governor. But Ortega could not seek a second consecutive term since he was unable to change the provincial constitution to allow reelection. Ortega is seen as a possible contender to succeed President Carlos Saul Menem in the 1999 presidential elections. [EDN 7/3/95 from AP, 7/4/95 from Reuter]

Bussi is accused of having directed the torture and disappearance of more than 500 people in a dirty war against the leftist opposition and a rural guerrilla movement during his stint as military governor of Tucuman in 1976 and 1977. Argentine writer Ernesto Sabato--who during the 1980s led the National Commision on the Disappearance of Persons (CONADEP)--called Bussi's election "a horror," and pointed out that if it wasn't for the "Punto Final" amnesty law, the former general would be in jail. Bussi responded that Sabato was abusing "the freedom of expression that cost the country so much blood." [ED-LP 7/4/95 & 7/6/95 from AFP]

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