Buenos Aires, Aug 14 (EFE).- Far-right populist Javier Milei unexpectedly emerged as the most voted candidate in Argentina’s primary elections held on Sunday to determine the candidates for the upcoming presidential race in October.
The center-right leader Patricia Bullrich celebrates during a rally after knowing the results after the primary elections, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 13 August 2023. EFE-EPA/Juan Ignacio Roncoroni
With almost 7 million votes, the libertarian economist and leader of the La Libertad Avanza capitalized on voters’ discontent to secure 30.17 percent of the votes with 95 percent of the ballots counted.
The Argentine Minister of Economy, Sergio Massa, speaks during a rally after knowing the results of the primaries, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 13 August 2023. EFE-EPA/Enrique Garcia Medina
Meanwhile, the main opposition coalition, center-right Juntos por el Cambio, got 28.25 percent of the votes and the ruling Peronist coalition garnered 27.15 percent.
The primary elections also handed a win to former security minister under Mauricio Macri (2015-2019), Patricia Bullrich, who is vying to become the country’s third woman president after María Estela Martínez de Perón (1974-1976) and Cristina Fernández (2007-2015).
The candidate of right-wing party Propuesta Republicana beat the mayor of Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, by more than 1.4 million votes.
Economy Minister Sergio Massa, who will be the presidential candidate for the ruling Unión por la Patria party, won almost 5 million less votes that Milei and one million more than Bullrich.
Despite the socio-economic situation in Argentina, with a year-on-year inflation of almost 116 percent, about half of the population in poverty and an exchange rate gap close to 110 percent, the Peronist party secured greater-than-expected support while Juntos por el Cambio fell well below the 35 percent votes that many said it would get.
Peronist Juan Schiaretti, of Partido Justicialista, and the candidate of Partido de los Trabajadores Socialistas, Myriam Bregman, also obtained sufficient votes to contest the presidential elections on Oct. 22.
The turnout for the primary elections was 69.62 percent, almost seven percentage points less than 2019’s 76.4 percent.
Some 35.4 million Argentines were eligible to vote in the primary. EFE