Keys to Sunday’s election
Argentine voters face a third scenario unprecedented in Argentina’s 40 years of democracy, in which parties that have fought for political control until this century aspire to come in second place. to force a second round next year. November 19. These are some of the keys to these elections, the most uncertain since the return of democracy.
Who are the candidates?
Argentines will choose between Javier Milei, an ultra who set the pace of the campaign that agitated against state spending and traditional politicians; Sergio Massa, the Minister of Economy in a broken Peronist Government, and Patricia Bullrich, a conservative former Minister of Security who won the internal elections of the traditional right. The stage is open. The far right is leading the polls, but nothing has given them the results needed to avoid a second round.
The economic crisis, at the center of the campaign
Argentina reached 138.3% year-on-year inflation last month. The minimum wage in the country is 132,000 pesos or about 380 dollars at the official exchange rate; the two of them are not enough to cover the basic basket of the family. 40% of Argentines, about 18 million people, are poor despite the fact that unemployment is the best figure in almost two decades: only 6.2% of working-age adults are unemployed . In addition, Argentina has Central Bank reserves in the red, foreign currency income has fallen due to an unprecedented drought affecting the agro-industrial sector and a debt of 44,000 million dollars to the IMF. which was contracted by the Macri Government in 2018.
A discussion has moved to the right
Milei’s histrionics set the agenda and his program took the electoral debate on fiscal adjustment, the elimination of state offices, the public defunding of education, health and scientific research… His hero proposal is the dollarization of the economy, although the Argentine Constitution prohibits the replacement of the peso as the official currency. The ultra managed to get the country to debate for months about the free carrying of weapons, about reopening the debate on legal abortion and even about the possibility of a hypothetical organ market.
Read more keys in this article by José Pablo Criales.