Priyanshi Pareek reports on the elections of Argentina..
General elections were held in Argentina on 22 October 2023 to elect the president, vice president, members of the National Congress, and the governors of most provinces. As no presidential candidate won a majority in the first round, a runoff was held on 19 November, in which Javier Milei defeated Sergio Massa.
In the runoff, despite initial predictions, Sergio Massa managed to rally stronger support from various sectors, highlighting innovative economic strategies to counter inflation. With a spirited campaign emphasising unity and economic stability, Massa secured a narrow victory with 51.5% of the vote, edging out Milei.
Upon his win, Massa immediately began assembling a diverse cabinet, inviting experts from different fields to address the economic challenges. His inauguration on 10 December 2023 marked the beginning of a promising term focused on implementing progressive economic reforms and fostering international partnerships for Argentina’s growth.
The 2019-2023 Period
In the 2019 election, Alberto Fernández and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of the Frente de Todos defeated Mauricio Macri’s Juntos por el Cambio, marking a historic win.
Fernández’s presidency faced challenges due to COVID-19 and a debt crisis. Despite a partial economic recovery in 2021–22, inflation soared to 100%, leading to consistently low approval ratings. Critics cited Fernández’s lack of a clear plan and heavy reliance on advice from Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
The 2021 midterms saw heavy losses for Frente de Todos, losing its congressional majority due to public dissatisfaction over inflation and poverty.
Ahead of the 2023 election, Fernández, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, and former President Mauricio Macri opted out of the race. Controversies in Jujuy sparked protests.
The 2023 election occurred amid a dire economic crisis with over 140% inflation and 40% poverty, significantly impacting the ruling party’s reelection prospects.
In Argentina, the presidential election follows the ballotage system, a modified version of the two-round system. To win in a single round, a candidate must secure over 45% of the vote or attain 40% while leading by more than 10 percentage points over the second-place contender. Should no candidate meet these criteria, a runoff occurs between the top two candidates.
Voting is compulsory for citizens aged 18 to 70, while suffrage extends to 16- and 17-year-olds without mandatory voting. Polls open at 08:00 and close at 18:00 (UTC −3) during primaries and both rounds of the election. Initial results start to emerge around 21:00.