Argentines vote in primary elections dominated by fears of pandemic recovery

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Argentina Update

After three and a half years of economic crisis, Argentines will have the first opportunity to vote on the performance of President Alberto Fernández’s center-left government on Sunday.

Fernandez’s popularity at the time of the primaries Plummet Soon after taking office and implementing a nationwide lockdown, this proportion fell from a peak of 57% in April 2020 to 34%. Since then, the president has been hit by the aftermath of the pandemic and the continued operation of the peso, which has pushed the inflation rate above 50%.

The poverty level has also risen. Approximately 42% of Argentines live in families whose income is below the poverty line set by the Argentine Bureau of Statistics, which is higher than 35% when the president took office at the end of 2019.

Sunday’s primary elections will determine who will participate in the November 14 legislative elections-but more importantly, given Argentina’s specific electoral system, all citizens are required to conduct primary elections, so it can be a good indication of who may become these midterm elections. The ultimate winner.

The ruling center-left Peronist coalition led by Fernandez and his vice president Christina Fernandez de Kirchner wants to retain control of the Senate and the important province of Buenos Aires, which owns Argentina One third of the population.

All citizens must participate in elections. Due to growing political dissatisfaction in the country, analysts expect the percentage of absent, blank, and invalid votes to be higher than usual, and the performance of candidates who usually have mainstream alternative options will improve.

“The collective emotion is an emotion of anger, frustration, and bitterness. Many voters are not interested in the election, and many people are unwilling to answer our questions,” said Ricardo Rouvier, an opinion poll expert.

Voters have always emphasized that the economy is their main concern in the preparations for the election. This is a question that both leagues have been disappointed in the past few years.

After two years of debt and currency crises, Fernandez defeated the former center-right president Mauricio Macri in 2019. But his own tenure was affected by the pandemic. According to data from the Institute of International Finance, Argentina’s recovery after the blockade is the weakest in the region.

The president won $65 billion restructuring transaction Last year with private bondholders, but Postponed meeting Fearing that the terms of the deal might prove unpopular, the US$44 billion IMF loan was renegotiated before the election.

Although the ruling coalition will run with a single vote in the primary elections of most major electoral districts, the opposition is ready to face the battle that may determine its future leadership.

The mayor of Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, hopes that this result will ensure that he will become a competitor to Fernández in the next presidential election in 2023. Lareta’s allies, María Eugenia Vidal and Diego Santilli, won in the city of Buenos Aires and the province of Buenos Aires, respectively. Make him the most popular leading negative.

The mayor hopes to become the new face of the center-right-a person who is more willing to negotiate with the Peronists. Throughout the campaign, he kept a certain distance from Macri.

His candidates will face internal challenges from the right, including the pro-market former Minister of Economy Ricardo López Murphy, and the traditional but declining Radical Party of the Argentine middle class.

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