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What Is At Stake For Alberto Fernández In the Next Elections In Argentina?

The government of President Alberto Fernández faces problems in the next elections in Argentina.

Alberto Fernández, President of Argentina

The crisis caused by the pandemic has strongly marked the mandate of Alberto Fernández, which began in 2019, and has contributed to his plunge into a strong economic, political and social crisis. Photo: TW-alferdez

LatinAmerican Post |María Fernanda Ramirez Ramos

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Leer en español: ¿Qué está en juego para Alberto Fernández en las próximas elecciones en Argentina?

The crisis caused by the pandemic has strongly marked the mandate of Alberto Fernández, which began in 2019, and has contributed to his plunge into a strong economic, political and social crisis. This was reflected in his defeat on the last primary, open, simultaneous, and compulsory elections (PASO) held in September. These votes constitute the first stage of the elections for deputies and senators in which is defined by the popular vote who will be the official candidates of the parties. On this occasion, the right-wing coalition, Unidos por el Cambio, swept the vote and obtained the best results in places like Buenos Aires or La Pampa, which had traditionally been Peronists.

As these are compulsory voting, they are usually an accurate thermometer of the final elections, which will take place on November 14. In these electoral elections, the two chambers that make up the Argentine Congress will be renewed with the election of 127 deputies, out of 257, and 24 senators, out of 72 senators. If the results obtained in the primary elections are replicated, Peronism, united in the coalition party the Frente de Todos, would be in an unfavorable situation in both chambers, which would force it to make alliances with other parties. However, with the low favorability of the Fernández government, which according to an October survey conducted by the consulting firms Berensztein and D'Alessio IROL has a negative image of 61%, alliances are becoming increasingly difficult.

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The president still has half a presidential term ahead of him and it will be a great challenge for him to govern with the majority of parliamentarians in the opposition. In fact, his predecessor Mauricio Macri, who throughout his government had minorities in congress had to face a similar scenario.

This poses a challenging scenario for the executive branch. It will be more difficult for them to move forward with his government agenda. Likewise, he must be able to negotiate and conciliate with congress and the opposition parties. 

In fact, after the primaries, the confrontations have intensified and the vice president wrote a strong letter criticizing officials close to the president and calling for changes within management: “When I made the decision (...) in proposing Alberto Fernández as a candidate for President of all Argentine men and women, I did so with the conviction that it was the best for my country. I only ask the President to honor that decision… but above all else, (...) that he honor the will of the Argentine people. "

On the other hand, reaching agreements with the right-wing coalition does not seem like a very likely option either, since their positions are too different. On the one hand, there is the Avanza Libertad party, whose leader is Javier Milei, known as the "Argentine Bolsonaro" for his far-right positions, which, among other things, has defended the carrying of weapons and has attacked the LGTBI community. On the other hand, there is the favorite party according to recent polls and the primary elections, Juntos Por el Cambio, closer to Macrismo and in alliance with center-right positions.

Ultimately, this Sunday's elections will determine the continuity of Alberto Fernandez and his party. If the predictions about the results come true, they seem to be the prelude to a race for the right to return to the Casa Rosada. The economic recovery, the promotion of work, the debt with the International Monetary Fund, migration problems, and security are key issues on the agenda and that is already difficult to solve with a friendly congress.