CONTENT PREVIEW
Country Risk

Argentine president’s mid-term elections victory facilitates implementation of pro-business reforms

23 October 2017

Key Points

  • Cambiemos (“Let’s Change”) won in the country’s five main provinces, which represent more than 60% of the electorate; further gains nationwide made it the largest political force in the country.
  • Cambiemos gains in Congress put the government in the strongest position yet to secure approval of tax and labour reforms despite falling short of securing a majority.
  • The weakening of the Peronist opposition, particularly of former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, significantly enhances President Mauricio Macri or his chosen candidate’s chances of re-election in 2019.

Event

The ruling Cambiemos (“Let’s Change”) coalition won in at least 13 provinces, improving its already strong performance in August’s primaries.

Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri (2-R) and his wife the first lady Juliana Awada (2-L) wave next to their daughter Antonia, Argentina’s Vice-President Gabriela Michetti (R) and Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta (2-L) during the celebrations after the legislative elections in Argentina, in Buenos Aires on 23 October 2017. (Claudio Perin/AFP/Getty Images)Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri (2-R) and his wife the first lady Juliana Awada (2-L) wave next to their daughter Antonia, Argentina’s Vice-President Gabriela Michetti (R) and Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta (2-L) during the celebrations after the legislative elections in Argentina, in Buenos Aires on 23 October 2017. (Claudio Perin/AFP/Getty Images)

Ruling coalition Cambiemos (“Let’s Change”) came out as the clear winner of the crucial 22 October mid-term legislative elections that chose one-third of the 72-seat Senate and half of the 257-seat lower chamber. Crucially, in the province of Buenos Aires, the country’s main electoral college, Esteban Bullrich, Senate candidate for the ruling Cambiemos coalition in Buenos Aires province, beat former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner from Citizen’s Unity (Unidad Ciudadana: UC) party by 41% to 37%. This was a marked reversal for Fernández, who had won by a small margin in the August primaries. Buenos Aires province was the main test for Cambiemos, but it also performed well nationally. With the exception of San Luis province, where the opposition reversed August’s primary results, Cambiemos won convincingly in provinces where it was favourite. Unexpectedly, it also won in other provinces traditionally considered as Peronist strongholds such as La Rioja, Salta, and Santa Cruz (Fernández’s home province). In total, Cambiemos won in 13 provinces, while Peronism only won in 9 provinces, 2 of those by a single percentage point.

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