Elections in Argentina: Macrismo Collapsed

Alberto and Cristina Fernandez won by beating the primaries and are poised to be the government starting in October

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The president of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, acknowledges the defeat of Juntos Por el Cambio (Together for Change) in the internal elections held this Sunday in the city of Buenos Aires (Argentina) EFE/Juan Ignacio Roncoroni.

Mauricio Macri lost, of course. However, above all, he lost, once again, a failed way of facing reality. Once again in Argentina, the juvenile plan of wanting to hide problems under the rug and hope that everything will be magically solved without taking the measures that require difficult times failed outright.

In today’s primaries, the ruling front Juntos por el Cambio lost to Alberto and Cristina Fernandez’s Frente de Todos by a wide margin. At midnight, with 80% of the electoral roll, the difference was 47.4% versus 32.3%. A defeat from every angle. A difference that even surpassed the predictions of all the pollsters, including those of Kirchnerism.

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Although the difference was a surprise, if we look at the concerns of the Argentines, the result is somewhat predictable. During the campaign, the government pointed to the corruption of the previous government. However, the polls clarify that the issue was not among the primary concerns of the electorate. Issues related to the economy, such as inflation, unemployment, poverty, emerged as pressing concerns in all the polls. The Macri administration plunged in that regard.

Although the current process was about the PASO or an internal process (that doesn’t exist), the truth is that if all the Argentines who voted for Alberto Fernandez repeat their vote in October, which they likely will, there will not be a second round. The next president of Argentina will have Cristina Kirchner as vice president, and everything is a mystery from now on.

Mauricio Macri had an unparalleled opportunity to carry out the necessary reforms and unleash Argentina’s potential to be a developed country. However, he avoided the hard (but necessary) path of adequate measures and decided to finance the continuity of an unsustainable model through indebtedness. Meanwhile, Macri dedicated himself to implementing minute changes, often nothing more than superficial. As always in history, he did not have time. Major surgery was needed, and painkillers were available. Gradualism failed, and now the future is a coin tossed in the air.

Will Alberto Fernandez take advantage of the governability of Peronism to do what he should or will his vice president be the one exercising power? Is there another surprise like that of Carlos Menem in the nineties or will we see the crudest populism that will lead the country to a Chavista path? Nobody knows today. Two months before the final elections, which already have a foretold result, governability is the most significant doubt and the most daunting challenge.

In his first speeches, Alberto promised not to be the president “of revenge,” and Macri was shocked, still without answers. Tomorrow, the markets, the dollar price, and the country risk will have the word.

This story is still unfolding…

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