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Choose Argentina, and the entire global economy could take a hit

Choose Argentina, and the entire global economy could take a hit

The second round of presidential elections began in Argentina on Sunday, with Peronist Economy Minister Sergio Massa, who was at the helm during the country’s worst economic crisis in two decades, clashing with radical liberal outsider Javier Milho, who said that according to Reuters opinion polls… She is a slight favorite before the Volt election.

Polling stations opened their doors at eight in the morning local time and closed ten hours later for approximately 36 million Argentines entitled to vote. The first official results – depending on location and time – are expected from 9 p.m.

Javier Miley casts his vote in the first round of presidential and parliamentary elections at a polling station in Buenos Aires on October 22, 2023. Photograph: MTI/AP/Natasha Pisarenko

Miley promises to cure the economic shock – from closing the central bank to getting rid of the peso and cutting spending – reforms that may be painful, but he has won the support of masses of voters disaffected by the weak economy.

Reuters said that whoever wins, the elections will reshape the political landscape in Argentina, the economic road map, trade in grains, lithium and hydrocarbons, and global relations with partners such as China, the United States and Brazil.

“The elections will represent a profound transformation in the system of political representation in Argentina,” said Julio Boardman, director of electoral consulting firm Observatorio. “I believe that all political forces as we knew them are witnessing a transformation.”

Miley, a 53-year-old economist and former television analyst, has a slight lead in the polls, but most polls show a close race with uncertain results. Massa, 51, is trying to win back missing voters with promises to cut taxes and organize campaigns to confirm Miley’s radical plans to cut public spending.

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Miley, who used to symbolize planned austerity measures with a chainsaw at rallies, supports the privatization of state-owned companies, as well as changes to be made in the areas of health care and education. But in recent weeks, he has put down the chainsaw in his quest to improve his image and win over centrist voters.

His core supporters believe he is the only candidate who can replace the political “class,” as Miley calls mainstream politicians, and end years of crisis in South America’s second-largest economy.

In the first round in October, Massa received 36.7 percent of the votes, while Miley received about 30 percent. At the same time, the latter received the support of Patricia Bullrich, who finished third in the first round, although it is not certain that all the voters of the latter candidate will support her.

Whoever wins the presidency will have to contend with empty government and central bank coffers, a $44 billion debt program with the International Monetary Fund, inflation approaching 150%, and many other obstacles.

Moreover, the new Congress that is scheduled to be decided in the October ballot will be highly divided, with no single bloc obtaining a majority. The eventual winner will also have to enlist the support of other factions in order to impose their will through the legislature.

(MTI)

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