On Sunday, Argentina faced its most important day, as this year’s election was decisive for the country’s future. After a rough campaign, the results are in, and they took everyone by surprise.
Argentina’s current Economy Minister Sergio Massa, and candidate for the actual socialist government, came in first place after receiving 36.68% of votes. In second place, far-right candidate Javier Milei earned 29,99% of votes.
This came as a surprise since Milei was expected to land in the first place, especially after the results of the first round of elections back in August 13, 2023, in which he placed himself as the main and leading force, with 30,08% of votes. In second place was right candidate Patricia Bullrich with 28.08% of votes, and in third place came Sergio Massa, with 27,22%.
Now, Sergio Massa and Javier Milei are heading to a run-off on November 19, 2023, and so a new and totally different campaign begins. Both candidates will seek support from the other parties, and they have already started gaining their attention.
During his speech, Javier Milei expressed gratitude and excitement about becoming the second most-voted force in Argentina, especially because we are talking about a party that was created two years ago. He also mentioned that his goal is to “put an end to Kirchnerismo”, meaning to put an end to the actual Peronist government, currently governed by Alberto Fernández and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
Milei’s liberal proposals involved, among many others, scrapping the central bank and replacing Argentina’s currency (peso) with US Dollars. He has also proposed erasing many ministries as well as privatizing business and health. The candidate’s main goal is to end with the “caste”.
On the other hand, Sergio Massa’s main campaign focus was to reinforce Peronism and defend social and working rights. He has also promised to be “the President who will take down inflation”, even though he’s the main (and actual) responsible.
The main reason why Sergio Massa’s win took everyone by surprise, is not only because he was in third place in the last election, but also because of the current state of Argentina´s economy. The country’s September inflation was over 103% and the US Dollar value fluctuates drastically every day. More than 40% percent of the population is under the poverty line, according to INDEC.
So far, the future of Argentina is uncertain, and while he campaigns to become the next President of Argentina, Sergio Massa must try to fix the economy, as well as try to fix his relationship with the opposition and attract new voters. The same thing will happen with Javier Milei, who will have to take back his controversial comments and earn all the support he needs to install his new political force into the government.
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