Source: NACLA Report on the Americas
On October 25th Argentines go to the polls for general elections that will shape the future of Latin America’s third largest economy. In the wake of Hugo Chavez’s death and amid increasing turmoil in neighboring Brazil, developments in Argentina take on added significance in the region.
In addition to the country’s first non-Kirchner president in twelve years, voters will choose provincial governors, senators, and congressional representatives, as well as parliamentary representatives to the South American trade bloc MERCOSUR.
Recent provincial contests resulted in victories for candidates from outgoing President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s Front for Victory (Frente para la Victoria) in both Chaco and Tucumán. In Tucumán, the result was disputed by opposition supporters amid violence directed at opposition candidates and allegations of electoral fraud. Despite protests involving clashes with police the result was subsequently upheld by Tucumán’s Supreme Court.
August primaries established three main presidential candidates: successor to Kirchner in the Front for Victory coalition and outgoing governor of Buenos Aires province, Daniel Scioli; dissident Peronist Sergio Massa of the Renewal Front (Frente Renovador); and mayor of Buenos Aires Mauricio Macri of center-right Let’s Change (Cambiemos). Recent polls show Scioli on the cusp of the 40% of the vote plus a 10% edge over his nearest opponent necessary to avoid an unpredictable runoff on November 22nd. However it is far behind Kirchner’s 54% tally in 2011.