Argentines voted this Sunday, November 14, in mid-term parliamentary elections, crucial for the center-left Peronist government of Alberto Fernandez who seeks to retain the majority in the Senate and thus ensure governability for the next two years in office.
Some 34.3 million people were authorized to vote in these elections, the official results of which will be released starting at 9:00 pm (local time), three hours after the closing of the voting.
After the setback suffered by the government in the September primaries, what happens this Sunday in the populous periphery of Buenos Aires, with 60% of the electoral roll and historic bastion of the Peronist ruling party, is key. The capital and other large cities are in the hands of the opposition. 127 of the 257 seats in the Chamber of Deputies are renewed, in which the ruling Frente de Todos holds the first minority.
In the Senate, chaired by the influential Vice President Cristina Kirchner, 24 of the 72 seats are renewed. There the Government puts into play the majority of 41 senators who supported Fernández since the beginning of his term in December 2019, compared to the 25 seats of the center-right coalition Juntos, of former President Mauricio Macri (2015-19), the main opposition.
The National Electoral Chamber reported that until 4:00 pm this Sunday, 60% of the electoral roll had already voted and the participation is higher than in the PASO. Until that time, 11% more citizens had deposited their ballots in the ballot box than in the Simultaneous and Compulsory Open Primaries.
Local media indicate, on the other hand, that the Juntos front denounced irregularities in various towns in the province of Buenos Aires, particularly in La Plata, Lanús, Quilmes and Pilar.
Almost half of the seats in the Lower House are up for grabs in these elections, as well as a third of the seats in the Senate, in a mandatory vote for more than 34 million voters. The risk for the government of President Alberto Fernández – if his party loses these elections, which is very likely – lies in the loss of its majority in the Senate and its position as the first minority in the Chamber of Deputies.
So far there is still no report on what the outlook for the ruling party is.
The electoral phenomenon and candidate for national deputy for the city of Buenos Aires, Javier Milei cast his vote in the morning at the headquarters of the UTN (National Technological University) from Avenida Medrano to 951, in the Almagro neighborhood. Upon leaving, he made statements about the economic context of the country and pointed out that “the situation in Argentina is extremely delicate.”
“The macroeconomic imbalances are great and we are on the verge of something that could be worse than the ‘Rodrigazo’,” he predicted, referring to the 1975 crisis, unleashed by the adjustment plan of the then Minister of Economy, Celestino Rodrigo.
The economist was optimistic about this day, for which there are still no reports of his votes. “I am calm because I think we have done a great job. I am a bilardista and the only thing I believe in is the result, so we are going to see what numbers the night brings us, “he said.