Argentina Prepares for Primary Elections as Voter Discontent Grows
Argentina is gearing up for primary elections this Sunday, which are set to provide a crucial insight into voter sentiment ahead of the general elections in October. The outcome of these primaries will determine the leadership of the conservative opposition bloc and confirm the ruling Peronist coalition’s candidate, Economy Minister Sergio Massa.
The country is facing widespread discontent among voters due to triple-digit inflation and rising poverty, leading to a high level of uncertainty and a large number of undecided voters. Liberal candidate Javier Milei has emerged as a popular figure in the polls, and his performance in the primary elections will indicate his standing with voters.
Unlike the previous elections four years ago, the outcome of these primaries is not expected to have a major impact on the markets or trigger an economic crisis. However, it is highly likely that a runoff will be necessary in the general elections, given that none of the parties are expected to secure the required percentage to win outright.
At present, the conservative Together for Change bloc, divided between moderate Buenos Aires city mayor Horacio Larreta and ex-security minister Patricia Bullrich, leads the polls, closely followed by the ruling Peronist Union por la Patria grouping. However, with a significant number of undecided voters and a sense of voter apathy, significant shifts in the race are possible, making it difficult to predict the outcome of the general elections in October.
Many voters view these elections as a “punishment vote” rather than a choice based on political affinity or ideas, reflecting their discontent and lack of trust in the political establishment. This sentiment is expected to impact voter turnout, which is predicted to be low and could potentially influence the final results of the primary elections.
The first results of the primary elections are expected to be announced around 9 p.m. local time on Sunday. These results will provide a glimpse into the preferences and sentiments of the Argentine electorate, setting the stage for the final showdown in October.