Argentina Presidential Election: Massa Leads Milei in Run-Off

Argentina Presidential Election: Massa Leads Milei in Run-Off

The race to determine Argentina’s leadership in the midst of a crisis is now set for a runoff vote next month. The contenders are left-wing candidate Sergio Massa and far-right libertarian Javier Milei, as revealed by data from Argentina’s National Electoral Chamber following the initial round of voting on Sunday.

After the polls closed, Sergio Massa secured the highest number of votes, with 8,877,325 votes, accounting for 36.33% of the total, according to the released data. Javier Milei received approximately 30.18% with 7,373,876 votes. The third-place candidate, Patricia Bullrich, conceded defeat with a 23.82% share of the vote.

Both candidates are vying for the trust of the nation during a period marked by widespread disillusionment with the country’s elite and its management.

These results underline the strong showing of the government coalition supporting Massa, who currently serves as Economic Minister at a time when Argentina grapples with its most serious financial crisis in the last two decades.

Voter turnout exceeded 75%, with over 25 million Argentinians casting their votes, and more than 90% of the votes had been counted, according to the election body.

Julio Vitobello, the general secretary of the presidency, referred to it as a model day for Argentine democracy during a press conference on Sunday night.

Bullrich holds up her marked ballot before putting it into the ballot box during primary elections in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023.|Source:gettyimages|

Argentina has been grappling with skyrocketing inflation, reaching 138%, which has placed immense pressure on ordinary citizens trying to cope with the rising cost of living.

After casting his vote in Buenos Aires on Sunday, current President Alberto Fernández celebrated the nation’s democracy on the social media platform X. He called upon all Argentines to defend it and shape the country’s future through the electoral process.

Patricia Bullrich, a former security minister, expressed her intention to let economists oversee the finance ministry and provide a firm, calm hand in contrast to Milei’s more provocative approach.

Sergio Massa, who is part of the current government, holds a substantial ministerial portfolio that includes responsibilities such as inflation control, soybeans (the country’s main export), and Argentina’s relationship with the International Monetary Fund. He has positioned himself as a more pragmatic left-leaning voice compared to the current government coalition while maintaining a political distance from Argentina’s high-profile vice-president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

In contrast to the leading candidates, political newcomer Javier Milei lacks governmental experience and pledges to disrupt Argentina’s existing economic structures. His promises of an overhaul have resonated with his supporters.

Massa speaks to the press after voting at the polling station in Tigre, Buenos Aires, during the presidential election on October 22, 2023.|Source:gettyimages|

Milei, a former financial analyst and self-described “anarcho-capitalist” known for wielding a chainsaw at rallies, has proposed a series of radical changes, including dollarizing Argentina, reducing public subsidies, and eliminating various ministries.

To win in the first round of voting, a presidential candidate must secure more than 45% of all votes or a minimum of 40% with at least a 10-point lead over the second-place candidate.

Argentina’s next president will assume office in December, beginning a 4-year term.

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John Smith

John Smith is a distinguished journalist, holding a Master's in Journalism from the renowned Columbia University. With a knack for uncovering the most captivating stories, John is the go-to expert for all things related to politics and current affairs. His insightful analysis and commitment to unbiased reporting set him apart in the world of journalism. John's writing ensures you're always in the know about the latest happenings in the USA.

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