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Argentina: Three Days Before Inauguration, Presidential Spat Escalates

The presidential spat continues to escalate as the outgoing President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who is three days away from leaving office, accused the President-elect Mauricio Macri of yelling at her over the phone.

The alleged exchange is worsening the tensions between the two political figures. Macri still wants to receive the presidential baton and sash from Kirchner in the ‘Casa Rosada’, during the Dec. 10 inauguration. Kirchner insists the transfer will happen in Congress.

“The President-elect began, with an elevated tone of voice, to demand that I should give the presidential baton and bash in the Casa Rosada because it is “his ceremony” and that if I don’t do as he says, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation would deliver the attributes,” she wrote in an essay on her blog, “Who was speaking on the other side of the phone seemed a completely different person to the one who appears in the media.”

Kirchner finished her statement saying that in a gesture of cordiality, she planted yellow flowers, the favorite color of the President-elect, in the entrance of the official presidential residence.

“December 10th is not your birthday party but the day you assume the role of president of all Argentines… I will not continue to tolerate in silence, as before now, the personal and public abuse that you’ve been dispensing,” Kirchner added.

Image: ARGENTINA-ELECTION-RUNOFF-MACRI-MICHETTI
Mauricio Macri (R), and Gabriela Michetti (L) celebrating at the Cambiemos (Let's Change) party headquarters in Buenos Aires on November 22, 2015. CambiemosHO / AFP - Getty Images

Vice President-elect Gabriela Michetti dispelled the allegations, saying Macri is trying to respect the rules of the presidency and the Argentine tradition of the transfering command. She also wrote on Twitter that Macri would never disrespect anyone and that he would never raise his voice.

“This is it: We will swear in in front of the Legislative Assembly and then the President-elect will travel to the Casa Rosada. Once [there], the President-elect will receive the command attributes from the hands of the outgoing President,” Michetti explained, “If the outgoing President refuses this ceremony, members of the Supreme Court will be the ones to deliver the command attributes.”

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