The Road To Argentina General Elections

Argentina, associated with frolic and football, is all poised for its first general election in 4 years. This will take place on 27th October 2019. The current president Mauricio Macri might be eligible for a second term but, like all elections, this year’s election in Argentina will also decide a new government for the country. Much needs to be done in terms of economic and human development. And the results of the election will determine what path does the nation take in the coming years. But for now, here is everything to know about the election some months from now.

Understanding The Electoral System

credit: Wikipedia

It is worth understanding, to begin with, how the electoral system works in Argentina. Voting is legally compulsory for all citizens in the age group of 18-70 years. It is not compulsory for citizens who are above the age of 70 years or are between 16 and 18 years of age.

The most crucial consequence of any general election in Argentina is the election of the country’s president. The President is elected for a term of 4 years. The criteria for election is that the presidential candidate should secure 45 percent of the votes in the country’s election. If that does not happen, the candidate should win at least 40 percent of the votes or stay ahead of the next candidate by at least 10 points. This is what happens in the first round. The second round of voting is held a month later between the two leading candidates.

Results of the second round of voting determine the eventual result of the general election. It should be noted, however, that the second round takes place only if the candidates fail to win the required votes in the first round.

Along with the President of Argentina, members of the Chamber of Deputies, the lower political house of the Argentinian government, are also elected every two years. Out of the 257 seats in the same, 130 seats are elected every 4 years. This makes them a part of the general election this year as well.

Finally, the members of the Argentine Senate, the upper political house, are also elected in the general election. There are a total of 72 members for 24 constituencies in Argentina. The party that wins the most votes will secure two membership seats and the second-winning party wins the third membership seat. This means that for each constituency, there will be a maximum of 3 members. This year, one-third of the Senators will be elected newly. Eight provinces will be electing three Senators each for a term of 6 years. These provinces include Buenos Aires, Chaco, Salta, and Tierra Del Fuego among the rest.

The Confirmed Pre-Candidates

credit: Wikipedia

It is time now to cast a proper glance at the pre-candidates who have been confirmed to be running for the presidency this year.

Alfredo Olmedo of the Ahora Patria party has been a Deputy for Salta since 2015. He was an agricultural businessman and his agenda, if he wins the presidency, would strengthen law enforcement in the country. He is also propagating a more conservative stance for the country’s government.

Miguel Pinchetto of the Alternativa Federal party has been a Senator for the Rio Negro since 2001. He has also been actively responsible for legal, justice and penal affairs of the country. And he has always been involved in the local political wrangle of Rio Negro ever since securing the membership of the Senate.

Sergio Massa, from the same party, had been a Deputy for Buenos Aires from 2013 to 2017. In addition to that, he was also the Mayor of Tigre province from 2009 and 2013. Under the reign of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, he was also appointed as the youngest Chief of Cabinet of Ministers of Argentina in 2008. He has been particularly active in the past in calling out for further development of police forces in Buenos Aires. In the previous general election, he finished third in the end.

Mauricio Macri, as said above, will be running for a second term as President.

Alejandro Biondini, a relative newcomer, is the leader of the Frente Patriota party. He is a propagator of the Nationalist government, which has created controversy in the political circles. His far-right wing agenda will be something that will make headlines in the upcoming general election this year.

Humberto Tumini, of the Movimiento Libres Del Sur party, was the Executive Secretary of the Federal Council of Human Rights in 2008. Prior to that, he has been very active in parallel political movements throughout the years. He originally joined the Revolutionary Workers Party. He was also imprisoned as a political prisoner back in the seventies. Since then, he has a reputation for founding revolutionary liberation fronts.

Jose Espert, of the Partido Libertario party, is also new to the elections and is an established economist. He had graduated in economics from the University of Buenos Aires and earned a Master’s Degree in the same from the University of CEMA. He is also Chairman and President of his own economic consultancy and asset management firm Estudio Espert since 2000 when it was founded.

Agustin Rossi and Alberto Saa, both of the Unidad Ciudadana party, have been Deputy and Governor for Santa Fe and Santa Luis respectively.

Rossi was the leader of the Front For Victory in the Argentine Chamber of Deputies. And two years before the elections held 4 years ago, he was appointed as Minister of Defence in June 2013.

Saa was a legal advisor to Argentina’s biggest trade union in 1980. He has also been one of the most distinguished members of the country’s political scenario. He was awarded the title of Global Ambassador for Peace by the World Organisation for Peace for his environmental protection initiatives. He had fought for the presidency back in the 2011 elections.

Guillermo Moreno, from the same party, was the Secretary of Commerce from 2006 to 2013. He is right now the economic attache at the Argentinian Embassy in the city of Rome. He is easily one of the most prominent and distinguished candidates since he had been responsible with controlling prices and international trade of the country with his initiatives. He is poised to be one of the most

Finally, Jorge Capitanich, from the same party, has been the Mayor of Resistencia since 2015. He was also the Senator for the Chaco province from 2001 to 2007. He has been involved in many business initiatives and activities in the past but he is a relative newcomer to the field of actual politics.

Effects of Macri’s Re-election

credit: Wikipedia

While many of the confirmed pre-candidates hold a lot of promise, there is also a fair amount of buzz about the chances of President Macri’s re-election in 2019. Analysts and commentators predict that if Macri does win the general election this year, Argentina will continue to receive economic aid from the International Monetary Fund. This also means that the country can be able to settle its old debts and reinvigorate the economy which is reeling under recession.

Will Kirchner Run Again?

Apart from the confirmed pre-candidates, there are some distinguished deputies of Buenos Aires like Martin Lousteau, Ricardo Alfonsin and Felipe Sola who are likely to run for the presidency as well. Most importantly, Cristina Fernandez Kirchner is expected to run for the presidency as well. Her double-run as President, from 2007 to 2015, was marked by a lot of controversies, owing to instances of corruption and her own much-debated currency controls. However, this year’s election does promise her a new chance at success for a third term that she never had a chance at. With her in the game, the general election of 2019, like many memorable elections in the past, will be even more sensational and exciting than ever. And it now remains to be seen what will happen this autumn and what would be the ideal destiny for these candidates.