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Gerardo Morales (politician)

Gerardo Morales
President of the National Committee of the Radical Civic Union
In office
17 December 2021 – 15 December 2023
Preceded byAlfredo Cornejo
Succeeded byMartín Lousteau
In office
1 December 2006 – 5 December 2009
Preceded byRoberto Iglesias
Succeeded byErnesto Sanz
Governor of Jujuy
In office
10 December 2015 – 10 December 2023
Vice GovernorCarlos Haquim
Preceded byEduardo Fellner
Succeeded byCarlos Sadir
National Senator
In office
December 2001 – 10 December 2015
ConstituencyJujuy
Secretary of Social Development
In office
20 June 2000 – 5 September 2001
PresidentFernando de la Rúa
Preceded byCecilia Felgueras
Succeeded byDaniel Sartor
Personal details
Born (1959-07-18) 18 July 1959 (age 64)
San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina
Political partyRadical Civic Union
Other political
affiliations
Juntos por el Cambio (2015–present)
ProfessionPublic accountant

Gerardo Rubén Morales (born 18 July 1959) is an Argentine politician, former Governor of Jujuy Province (2015–2023) and Secretary General of the Radical Civic Union.

He was a member of the Argentine Senate representing Jujuy Province, elected for the Front of Jujuy. He was a candidate for Vice President of Argentina on Roberto Lavagna's UNA ticket in the 2007 elections. From 2015 to 2023, he was Governor of Jujuy, the first non-Peronist elected to the post since the restoration of democracy.

Early life and career

Morales was born in Jujuy Province. He worked on the Ferrocarril General Manuel Belgrano railway as a waiter at age 18, and was promoted to the post of administrator. He enrolled at the National University of Jujuy, where he earned a degree in Accountancy. Morales was later appointed Director of Liquidations at the Provincial Insurance Institute. He also lectured and was politically active at university, teaching in Political Economy courses from 1985 to 1993. He married in 1985, and had three children; he admitted to past infidelities in a 2008 interview.[1]

Political career

In 1989 Morales was elected as a provincial deputy and in 1993 became leader of the UCR block in the legislature. He served as president of the Finance Committee in 1991 and 1992. He was nominated for Vice Governor of Jujuy in a defeated 1991 UCR ticket, and with the support of party leader Raúl Alfonsín, ran for Governor of Jujuy in 1995 and 1999, albeit unsuccessfully. He stepped down as a Jujuy Congressman in 2000 to join the national government of President Fernando de la Rúa as Secretary for Social Development.[2] Morales was elected to the Argentine Senate in 2001 mid-term elections.

After the election of Néstor Kirchner as President of Argentina in 2003, many leading Radicals publicly supported Kirchner's populist left-wing agenda. The group, known as Radicales K, included provincial governors and national legislators. The national president of the Radicals, Roberto Iglesias took a hard-line approach against Kirchner, however, opposing efforts to re-align UCR elected officials toward the popular Kirchner.[3] Morales, who supported Iglesias' policy, was re-elected to the Senate in 2005.

Iglesias led negotiations to find a suitable candidate for the UCR to back in the 2007 Presidential elections against Kirchner's wife and FpV nominee, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Roberto Lavagna, a former minister under Kirchner who subsequently opposed his policies, appeared to be the favored candidate for the majority of the party. Iglesias resigned the presidency of the party in November 2006, however, due to differences with Lavagna, having reached the conclusion that an alliance with him would be a mistake, and joined those who maintained that the party should look for its own candidate (the so-called Radicales R).[4]

The UCR National Committee appointed Morales as its new president in December 2006. Morales supported the party's Rosario convention, in which Alfonsín's call for an alliance with Lavagna was adopted into the party platform.[5] He became Lavagna's running mate in the presidential election of October 2007, on a centrist electoral front known as "An Advanced Nation" ('UNA'), and placed third.

Morales entered subsequently into a heated political dispute with Milagro Sala, the leader of the Indigenist Tupac Amaru Neighborhood Association. He was attacked in 2009, though without injury, by two youths tied to the association, and filed charges against their leader.[6] Sala, who denied involvement, alleged that the accusations were politically and racially motivated.[7] She responded with demands that Morales' estate be investigated, and each exchanged accusations of corruption.[8]

Morales was elected leader of the UCR Caucus in the Senate in December 2009; he succeeded Ernesto Sanz, who replaced Morales as President of the party's National Committee.[9]

Governor of Jujuy

Morales was elected governor in 2015. Expecting protests from Milagro Sala, he requested policial reinforcements to the national government, to prevent riots during the end of the year. 43 gendarmeries were sent to Jujuy, but died in a car accident at Rosario de la Frontera, in unclear circumstances.[10] The Tupac Amaru organization denied the existence of violence in the province, and started a permanent demonstration at the Jujuy plaza.[11] Morales accused the organizations that compose the Tupac Amaru of keeping the social welfare money for themselves, and distributing it only to their political supporters. To reduce their influence, he arranged that those payments should be done through bank accounts and not with cash, to keep track of the money. After a month, he urged the organizations to accept the terms and leave the plaza, or he would revoke their legal authorizations.[12] The Tupac Amaru was split by this, as most organizations accepted Morales' proposal, but Sala and a reduced faction rejected it.[13] Milagro Sala was arrested a few days later, accused of calling to riots and civil disorder.[14]

References

  1. ^ "Fui infiel y me arrepiento". Prensa Jujuy. Archived from the original on 2012-03-25.
  2. ^ "De la Rúa colocó a un alfonsinista en un puesto clave del área social". La Nación.
  3. ^ Iglesias calificó de "traidores y cobardes" a sus rivales internos (in Spanish)
  4. ^ Sorpresiva renuncia de Iglesias a la presidencia de la UCR (in Spanish)
  5. ^ La UCR eligió a un hombre cercano a Lavagna como conductor del partido (in Spanish)
  6. ^ "Procesaron a Milagro Sala por la agresión al senador Morales=". La Nación. Archived from the original on 2011-01-01. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
  7. ^ "Milagro Sala defends her housing programme". Buenos Aires Herald. Archived from the original on 2011-06-24. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
  8. ^ "Cruces entre Morales y Milagro Sala por los fondos del Gobierno". El Cronista Comercial.
  9. ^ "Ernesto Sanz fue elegido como nuevo presidente del Comité Nacional de la UCR". MDZ Online.
  10. ^ "Los gendarmes de la tragedia viajaban a Jujuy para prevenir disturbios" [The gendarmerie of the tragedy were traveling to Jujuy to prevent riots]. La Nación (in Spanish). December 14, 2015. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  11. ^ Brenda Struminger (December 14, 2015). "La Tupac Amaru, sobre el pedido de gendarmes: "No hay violencia en Jujuy, es una fantasía de Gerardo Morales"" [The Tupac Amaru, on the request of gendarmeries: "There is no violence in Jujuy, that's a fantasy of Gerardo Morales"]. La Nación (in Spanish). Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  12. ^ "Gerardo Morales emplazó por decreto a la Tupac Amaru: "Después del 14, que les pague Milagro Sala"" [Gerardo Morales urged by decree the Tupac Amaru: "After the 14, let Milagro Sala pay them"]. La Nación (in Spanish). January 13, 2016. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  13. ^ Lucrecia Bullrich (January 14, 2016). "Ultimátum de Morales a Sala por el control de los planes en Jujuy, pero sigue el acampe" [Ultimatum of Morales to Sala for the control of the plans in Jujuy, the camping continues]. La Nación (in Spanish). Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  14. ^ "Detuvieron a Milagro Sala en Jujuy por el acampe contra Gerardo Morales" [Milagro Sala was detained in Jujuy for the camping against Gerardo Morales]. La Nación (in Spanish). January 16, 2016. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
Political offices Preceded byEduardo Fellner Governor of Jujuy 2015–2023 Succeeded byCarlos Sadir Party political offices Preceded byRoberto Iglesias President of the National Committee of the Radical Civic Union 2006–2009 Succeeded byErnesto Sanz Preceded byAlfredo Cornejo President of the National Committee of the Radical Civic Union 2021–2023 Succeeded byMartín Lousteau
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Gerardo Morales (politician)
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