The bizarre lottery of an Argentinean candidate

A Peronist local election candidate is organising a tombola to fund his campaign. First prize: breast implants.

Jorge Robador came up with the unusual idea in order to finance his electoral campaign. And he's got it all planned out. If the lucky winner of first prize is male, then he can offer the breast enhancement operation to his wife, or receive the equivalent in cash. The tickets cost 30 pesos each (around €7) and are on sale in a kiosk opposite the church in the main square of Rioja, the capital of the province with the same name. Ticket holders just have to wait for 20 December, when the grand draw takes place. One of our Observers in Buenos Aires explains that in Argentina, it's not as crazy as it sounds.

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"In Argentina, breast enhancement surgery is quite common"

Patrick Ravilly, 62, is a business consultant living in Buenos Aires. He runs the blog "L'Argentine au jour le jour" (Argentina Day by Day).

Jorge Robador is the former mayor of Chilecito, a small district in the Rioja province. Now he's one of the leaders of the "Con el Corazon en la Gente" (With my Heart for the People), a local Peronist party running for office.

In Argentina, breast enhancement surgery is quite common. A lot of foreigners - Americans and Europeans - come here to get their operations done. The American agency, Plenitas for example, organises touristic package holidays to Buenos Aires that include a five star hotel, a breast enlargement operation, a tango course and a special dinner.   

It's not rare for a 16-year-old from a rich family to ask for a nice pair of boobs for passing her exams as a birthday present here. Jorge Robador was well aware of that when he put the plan into action. He was also aware of the media hype that would come about as a result of the initiative. In a province where few people know who he is, he was invited by the press, the radio and all the local news to present his manifesto.

Each election here is an opportunity for candidates to practice their vote-catching techniques, which largely include handing out sweeteners like washing machines and social benefits. So this is no worse than what they normally do.

And so, Jorge Robador argued that 'if this is successful it shows the determination of the electorate to support our project. And if we don't sell enough tickets, it will only cost a part of the jackpot".  

His political project however is quite the standard: to cut deputies' salaries and pensions so that people don't enter office to get rich. For current province governor Beder Herrera, he'd like to ban this type of practice. Very well. Robador has already launched his campaign, and in a most spectacular manner."

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