Buenos Aires, Sept 13 (EFE) .- President Alberto Fernandez’s administration suffered a major setback in the primary elections to choose the November 14 midterm candidates in Argentina, a result that shook the national political landscape .
The long-standing recession that led to the defeat of former Tory President Mauricio Macri at the polls in 2019 – an economic crisis made even worse by pandemic mitigation measures – has now taken political toll on his successor.
Fernandez was also criticized for a photo which showed him hosting a birthday party at the presidential residence of First Lady Fabiola Yañez in July 2020, when social gatherings were banned under strict Covid-19 rules.
No one in the photo was wearing a mask.
According to the provisional vote count in Sunday’s primary elections, the pre-candidate lists submitted by the ruling Frente de Todos coalition of Peronist parties received the most votes in just seven of the country’s 24 jurisdictions.
In contrast, the investor-friendly opposition Juntos por el Cambio, to which Macri belongs, was the big winner after garnering the most votes in 14 jurisdictions.
The ruling coalition’s Senate pre-candidates have also performed poorly, emerging victorious in just two of the eight provinces that will hold upper house elections this year.
Victoria Tolosa Paz, the main candidate for the lower house of the Frente de Todos in the province of Buenos Aires, admitted Monday after the second place of the coalition there (normally a Peronist stronghold) that the result was a hard and unexpected blow.
The ruling coalition candidate said her bloc must show “humility” and work to alleviate public discontent with the economic situation, which she says is improving even if the results are not. are not yet noticeable.
“I think there is a president and governors who are going to have to take the bull by the horns and start working to solve the problems” facing the country, she told Somos Radio.
The Frente de Todos did not even succeed in establishing itself in the province of Santa Cruz, cradle of Kirchnerism, the Peronist faction led by the former head of state Cristina Fernandez (the current vice-president).
Alberto Fernandez (no connection to Cristina), who took responsibility for the loss on Sunday and pledged to work to reverse that result in November, took part in a public event on Monday but made no reference to the primaries.
Macri, meanwhile, hailed the results of a vote seen as a referendum on Fernandez’s first 21 months in office.
“There is a new opportunity for Argentina today. We are starting to see the end of populism in our country, ”said the ex-president, who was not on any of his coalition’s candidate lists, of the results of the primaries.
Analyst Mariel Fornoni told Efe that many votes were cast against the ruling coalition (as opposed to the opposition) and attributed the result to a series of poor economic indicators: a high poverty rate (42 %), a high unemployment rate (10.2%%), galloping inflation, the continued depreciation of the peso and the decline in purchasing power for both employees and retirees.
She said the “big winner” of the midterm primaries was Buenos Aires mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta, an opposition figure whose handpicked candidates performed well on Sunday and who seems well placed to move forward. a presidential race in 2023.
A similar defeat of the ruling coalition in November would cost the Frente de Todos its majority in the Senate.
No political party currently has a majority in the lower house. EFE
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