The current Minister of Economy, Sergio Massarepresenting the ruling Union for the Homeland coalition, won a surprising and narrow victory in the first round of elections in Argentina on Sunday with 36.48% of the votes – with 96.31% of the tables checked – compared to 30.06% of the economist and ultra-conservative candidate Advances in Freedom, Javier Milei.
Massa’s victory comes despite the fact that inflation has reached triple digits for the first time since 1991. All polls showed Milei as the winner, who surprised the PASO (mandatory simultaneous open primaries) elections held in August with a harsh anti-system message.
To win the first round of the election, one of the candidates must get at least 45% of the votes or more than 40% with more than 10 points about the second place candidate. So, Massa and Milei will face each other in a second round to be held this November 19.
The candidate of Together for Change, Patricia Bullrichcame third with 23.85% of the votes, who accepted the results of the elections and stressed that the country “must leave populism if you want to grow and end poverty.
In this regard, Juan Schiaretti, from We Do for Our Countryis in fourth position with 6.84%, followed by Myriam Bregman, of the Left Front and Workers-Unity (FIT), with 2.68%.
About 35.4 million Argentines were called up this Sunday to elect its new president and vice president, as well as changing 130 of the 257 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 24 of the 72 in the Senate. They also elected 43 Argentine representatives to the Mercosur Parliament, the bloc made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
In the province of Buenos Aires, the stronghold of the followers of former president and current vice president Cristina Fernández, the victory went to Axel Kicillof, who obtained 44.8% of the votes with 90.71% of the tables counted.
the the participation is about 77.67%according to data from the Electoral Chamber of Argentina, four points lower than the 2019 election.
The election was held in the midst of a severe economic crisis. the third largest economy in Latin America suffered triple-digit inflation and a devalued currency that left the 40% of the population lives below the poverty line.
Milei described the election as “historic”
After the election results, the ultra-conservative candidate described the election as a “historic event” and proudly stated that “two years ago, if they told us that we would face the second round of Kirchnerism, no I wish we believed that.”
“From having no party to fighting for the first national force of Kirchnerism is a truly historic achievement,” said Milei from the Libertador Hotel, the electoral bunker of the ultra-liberal candidate. “In two years we have come to challenge the most destructive thing in the history of modern democracy for power,” he added to his followers, who sang him “happy birthday” upon his arrival.
In addition, the candidate of La Libertad Avanza calls for all Argentines who want to change to work together. “We cannot allow Kirchnerism to continue to destroy our lives. Either we change or we sink,” he emphasized. “It can be changed and there is a possible Argentina if that future is independence,” he said.
An election day with “normality, peace and tranquility”
Election day this Sunday passed with “normality, peace and tranquility”, as stated by the Secretary General of the Argentine Presidency, Julio Vitobello.
There was only one moment of some tension when some local media, a few minutes before the closing of the polling stations, reported a alleged bomb threat at Casa Rosada communicate by phone.
Sources from the Federal Police detailed that no explosive device was found in the facilities of the Argentine Government headquarters and the threat was considered a “false alarm.”
In addition, many representatives of La Libertad Avanza criticized that theAt least 4,500 polling stations have torn up election ballots. However, the spokesman for the libertarian candidate, Guillermo Francos, considered that the elections “have been completely normal.”