Electoral slap for Mauricio Macri. The Argentine liberal president suffered a heavy setback on Sunday, August 11, against center-left Peronist and former prime minister Alberto Fernandez during the primary elections, considered as a general rehearsal of the October presidential election in which he intends to run for president. a second term.

According to partial results on 58.7% of polling stations, Alberto Fernandez and his coliter Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, the former president of the country, won 47.01% of the vote, compared to 32.66% for the compound tandem. Mauricio Macri and Peronist leader Miguel Angel Pichetto.

"A new stage"

If such a result is repeated in the presidential election of October 27, Alberto Fernandez, 60, would be proclaimed winner in the first round, since the electoral law of Argentina establishes that it is enough for that to obtain at least 45% of the votes, or 40% and a ten point lead on the second-ranked candidate.

"We have had a bad election and we have to redouble our efforts from tomorrow, and we regret that we did not have all the support we had hoped for," the leader of America's third-largest economy quickly acknowledged. Latin, plunged into a serious economic crisis.

"To those who voted for me, I promise to work so that they understand me, we will begin a new stage," congratulated Alberto Fernandez in front of a crowd of several thousand enthusiastic supporters.

An Argentinean peculiarity

Created in 2009, the system of general primaries for all political parties, the same day and in a national poll, is an Argentinean peculiarity.

In this country of 34 million voters where the vote is mandatory - the participation rate was 75% - it is rather a life-size poll before the general elections in October, the political parties having chosen this year, for reasons of electoral strategy, to invest their candidates in advance, as the law allows them.

Another peculiarity: Peronists presented themselves in three different camps. Former Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna and his mate Juan Manuel Urtubey, who represented the centrist tendency of Peronism, came in third with 8.7% of the vote.

Defining primaries

Since 2009, the scores of the presidential polls have been in line with the primary polls. "A difference of more than five points will be very difficult to overcome, because there is no margin to find votes because of the polarization" of the country, had explained, before the results, the political analyst Raul Aragon.

Alberto Fernandez, head of the government of Nestor then Cristina Kirchner between 2003 and 2008, campaigned by swearing to have broken with leftist policies followed in the past and refocused.

To everyone's surprise - as she was leading the polls - Kirchner announced her withdrawal on May 18, leaving Alberto Fernandez to run for president from 2007 to 2015.

Charged with several corruption cases, the former president retains a decisive influence on the Citizens' Unity party she founded, which has invested Alberto Fernandez. Their election ticket was presented under a banner recently created and called "The Front of All" (El Frente de todos).

60-year-old Mauricio Macri, meanwhile, had surprised him by choosing to run the Peronist leader Miguel Angel Pichetto, breaking with his doctrine that had led him to keep out the Peronists of his government.

Macri, candidate of the markets

Sign of interest in these primaries, the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange had closed Friday up 8%, analysts explaining this trend by some polls more favorable to Mauricio Macri, the preferred candidate markets, although the duo Fernandez-Kichner was given winner.

Overwhelmed by two currency crises in 2018 that caused its currency to lose 50% of its value, Argentina called the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to the rescue, to obtain a loan of more than 57 billion dollars.

In its latest global growth forecast released in the spring, the IMF had forecast a contraction in Argentina's GDP of 1.2% in 2019 while waiting for a recovery in the second half. For 2020, it forecasts growth of 2.2%.

In this country in recession since last year, inflation remains very high over the last 12 months, at 40%, as unemployment, at 10.1%.

The first round of the presidential election will take place on 27 October, while the eventual second round will be scheduled for 24 November. In the general elections of 27 October, the Argentineans will also partially renew the two houses of Parliament, whose candidates also ran in Sunday primaries.

With AFP