Argentina elections 2021: Alberto Fernández calls for dialogue with the opposition after losing control of Congress

Argentina held legislative elections last Sunday, November 14, which are key for the political future of the ruling coalition and for the Peronist president Alberto Fernández who, after almost two years in office, has suffered severe wear in the midst of a deep economic crisis.

The Government of Alberto Fernández He tried to retain the legislative majority in the elections this Sunday, a goal that he did not achieve.

Some 34.3 million Argentines were summoned to go to the polls on this 14th, in an election in which 127 of the 257 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 24 of the 72 seats in the Senate were renewed.

The ruling party lost in the primaries of last September, in most of the Argentine provinces, and, in the legislative ones on Sunday, it did not maintain control of Congress.

The ruler of Front of All the main opposition front that, in addition, obtained a third of the total votes compared to just over 40% of the votes it obtained Together for Change bet that an increase in participation in these elections will help you to have a better result.

Meanwhile, the president Alberto Fernandez he called for dialogue with the opposition, when his coalition of center-left Peronists lost a majority in the Senate and was left without control of Congress in the mid-term legislatures.

“We must prioritize national agreements if we want to resolve the challenges we face,” Fernández said in a speech in which he asserted that “a responsible opposition open to dialogue is a patriotic opposition.”

The president called for a “fruitful cooperation, for the general interest of the country.”

Citizens have two options to know where they should vote in the elections of Argentina of this November 14: through the official page or a phone call. Thus, when accessing the electoral roll, you will know your polling place, table and your serial number.

If you decide to consult it online, you must enter the official site of the National Registry of Voters (definitive register) through the following link: www.padron.gob.ar. Then, you must fill in the requested fields and click Consult. The information that you will have to detail is composed of:

-Document: enter your ID number

-Gender: choose between the three options (male, female and unspecified)

-District: enter the district where you will vote according to the address that appears on your ID

-Verifier: enter the text that appears in the image

You can also know your suffrage seat through a mobile phone by calling the free line 0800-999-7237. When answered, you will have to provide your ID number and gender (option 1 for male and option 2 for female).

In Argentina, voting is universal, secret and compulsory, in accordance with what is established in article 37 of the National Constitution. Because, those who do not attend to vote and do not have a valid justification, will be sanctioned.

However, due to inflation and the lack of automatic updating of the amounts, the penalties have ridiculous figures.

Those who do not appear at your voting table this Sunday to participate in the 2021 legislative elections, must justify their absence. In case of not being able to do so, they will have to pay a fine of 100 pesos in the general elections. For the PASO, the fine was 50 pesos.

Thus, people who did not vote in the STEP or in the 2021 legislatures will have to pay 150 pesos in total.

In case they decide not to pay the fine, the offenders will be registered as such and will not be able to do paperwork for a year or obtain a passport. In turn, they may not be appointed public officials for three years either. In the official site infractores.padron.gob.ar the particular situation of each citizen can be consulted.

Debt can be paid through Banco de la Nación Argentina, personally or electronically, such as credit card, bank transfer, cash payment or virtual account. The information is updated on the web two business days after the debt is paid. The amount of the sanctions is part of the Permanent Party Fund, in charge of the Ministry of the Interior.

If the citizen considers that he should not be on the list of offenders, he can claim via the internet or at the electoral secretariat corresponding to his home, with his document and the stamp that proves the vote.

The result of the primaries unleashed an open confrontation between the wing close to the president and the one that responds to the vice president Cristina Fernandez who ruled Argentina between 2007 and 2015.

Fernández arrives at these elections with a low level of approval for his management, 26.6%, lower than the 30.8% he had when the primaries were held in September, according to the latest study by the Management & Fit consultancy.

Argentina has been dragging an economic crisis for several years, the same one that has been aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused 116,222 deaths.

To a very high inflation rate – 52.1% year-on-year last October – is added a high poverty rate (40.6%), employment problems and complex negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to refinance debts for 45,500 millions of dollars.

In this scenario, the dissatisfaction of Argentines with the Government of Alberto Fernández has been increasing in recent months.

The reading of the results of the primaries of Mariel Fornoni, director of the consulting firm Management & Fit, is that “the people voted against the government, not that the opposition won,” he told Efe.

In his opinion, the anger that Argentines have today is, among other reasons, due to the economic management of the Government, since “there is no economic plan, it is not known who makes the decisions”, and also “there is a lot of conflict within the same coalition ”.

Also, the image of Fernández has been affected in recent months by the scandal of the dissemination of photos of the birthday party of the first lady, Fabiola Yañez, at the presidential residence in July 2020, when there was a ban on making social meetings decreed by the president himself.

For the analyst Jorge Daniel Giacobbe, director of the consulting firm Giacobbe & Asociados, these elections are not moved for ideological or political party reasons, but “because of a cathartic act of liberation from anguish.”

Speaking to Efe, Giacobbe pointed out that this government, which meant hope for 48% of the people who voted for it two years ago, “six months later it had already broken down and does not solve the problems, and neither does it generate hope for the future.” .

The question now is what will happen in the ruling coalition if it suffers an adverse result and the difficulties that Alberto Fernández will have to complete his term, which ends in 2023.

The crisis that was unleashed within the ruling coalition by the overwhelming defeat in the primary schools was tried to overcome with a ministerial reshuffle imposed by Vice President Cristina Fernández.

If in the elections this Sunday the setback was very strong, we must see if there is “a fix as you can, a stronger landing of Cristina in the Government or they try to seek help from the governors,” according to Fornoni.

Giacobbe considered that these elections define more the future of politicians than of society, that next month it will continue to “suffer the same inflation, the same insecurity, the same poverty, and the same unemployment”.

With information from EFE

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