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Peronism returns to power in Argentina

Alberto Fernández obtained 48.10% of the votes, surpassing Mauricio Macri by eight points

Alberto Fernández exercising his vote during election day in Argentina.

Alberto Fernández exercising his vote during election day in Argentina. / Photo: twitter.com/alferdez

LatinAmerican Post | Marcela Peñaloza

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Leer en español: El peronismo vuelve al poder en Argentina

Argentina has a new president: Alberto Fernández. The new president will be accompanied by his vice-presidential formula Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and will receive a country plunged into an economic crisis marked by recession, inflation, and rising unemployment.

The social-liberal Mauricio Macri, current president of the nation, obtained 40.37% of the votes, which left him in second place. Macri obtained a much better figure than expected, after the August primary in which there was a difference of 17% between both candidates. In Argentina, the candidate who obtains a percentage greater than 45% is the winner of the elections in the first round.

Before his victory, Alberto Fernández assured that “the government returned to the people”, while Fernández de Kirchner asked Macri to implement the necessary measures to alleviate the crisis that overwhelms the Argentines.

For his part, the current president acknowledged the defeat and declared that the transition will be "orderly." It is expected that Macri and Fernández will meet today to discuss Argentina's main problem: the economy. The transfer of power will take place on December 10.

In statements collected by El Mundo, Macri said "I want to congratulate Alberto Fernández. I just spoke with him, I want to congratulate him for the great choice he has made. I invited him to breakfast tomorrow at (Casa) Rosada, because he has to start a period of orderly transition that brings tranquility to the Argentines. "

Why didn't they re-elect Macri?

According to the BBC there are three factors why Mauricio Macri failed in his attempt to remain in power.

1. Not being able to solve the economic crisis: in 2015, Macri was elected as the new president under the promise that he would solve the Argentine economy. However, under his mandate, the crisis has worsened and several experts say that this occurred thanks to a national and international misdiagnosis. Macri leaves the Casa Rosada and leaves Argentina in worse conditions than four years ago.

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2. Weak government: in spite of having achieved the presidency with the Cambiemos coalition, which integrated different anti-Peronist political currents, the political support of the Macri government was weak during these four years. According to Sergio Berensztein, a political scientist and consultant for the BBC, “they based [the government] solely on macrismo and ignored the other members of the coalition, especially radicalism (Radical Civic Union), and limiting the possibility of adding moderate sectors and Republicans of Peronism".

3. International protectionism: Macri set out to "return to the world" after the country's restricted access to international markets due to conflicts between the Fernández de Kirchner government. The ambitious proposal did not have the expected effects as the president and his government met with nations that currently point to economic protectionism. In addition, many of these countries have high interest rates in the markets; and finally there is a trade war between two of the greatest powers in the world. The BBC points out that "Macri did a too linear reading and thought that his business and neoliberal profile would guarantee him a place in the world and in all foreign investments."

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