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Tripartism and new leadership: how the primaries change the political map of Argentina

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Tripartism and new leadership: how the primaries change the political map of Argentina

The candidate Javier Milei put an end to the bipartisanship that had prevailed in recent decades.

The Primary, Open, Simultaneous and Mandatory elections (PASO), which took place on Sunday in Argentina, completely changed the political configuration of a country that had been characterized by bipartisanship and that now has a third and influential force that You can even win the presidential elections on October 22.

Until a few months ago, the electoral contest was concentrated between the ruling Peronist coalition Union for the Fatherland (UP), and the opposition and conservative Together for Change (JxC)which had dominated the political scene since the beginning of this century.

Both alliances were headed by the most important and polarizing political figures of recent years. On the one hand, in UP, the former president and vice president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, President Alberto Fernández and the Minister of Economy and presidential candidate, Sergio Massa, were grouped together.

In the case of JxC, the figures were former president Mauricio Macri; and the presidential candidates Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, head of Government of the City of Buenos Aires; and Patricia Bullrich, the former Security Minister who finally won the internship.

But both blocks were displaced by Freedom Advances (LLA), the new far-right party founded by the economist Javier Milei. Although months ago the polls began to detect that he was growing unusually in voting intentions, they did not anticipate that he would be the winner of the day with a resounding 30%.

This makes Milei a new and unexpected protagonist of local politics. The numbers are surprising and demonstrate the success he had with his speech against traditional politicians, since his party won in 16 of the 24 jurisdictions What is in Argentina? In five provinces (Salta, San Luis, Mendoza, Misiones and Jujuy) it even exceeded 40%.

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Instead, UP only won in Santiago del Estero, Formosa, Catamarca, Chaco and Buenos Aires; while JxC prevailed in the City of Buenos Aires, Corrientes and Entre Ríos.


The balance of the PASO shows that the presidential election is divided into thirds, something unthinkable last year, when everything indicated that the candidates of the macrismo and the kirchnerismo-peronismo would return to monopolize the electoral dispute.

Election day on Sunday also tinges the race for the presidency with uncertainty. For now, anyone can win.

Milei starts as a favorite with his 30%, but is followed closely by Bullrich, with 28% added by JxC; and Massa, with 27% reaching UP.

To win on October 22, any three must score at least 40%, or less, but only within 10 points of second place.

Neither of these two scenarios is foreseen for now, since the election will most likely be defined in a second round, scheduled for November 19.

But, beyond the presidential, the redistribution of power has already been firm this Sunday.

For example, in Congress, Peronism will have at least 96 deputies; Together for Change, 107 and LLA, which in the current legislature only occupied three seats, will now have 41.

In the Senate, UP would be left with 35 seats; JxC, with 27 and LLA, who had no representation, would break in with eight.


The main leaders of the international extreme right celebrated Milei’s unexpected triumph.

«Historical triumph (…) From Chile, all the support for the tough fight that is coming forward. For the good of Argentina, may the force of freedom win and that corruption, insecurity and mediocrity be defeated”, wrote the former presidential candidate of Chile, Jose Antonio Kast.

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Santiago Abascal, leader of the Spanish Vox party, congratulated Milei with allusions to the fight against “the most radical left.”

In Argentina, President Alberto Fernández avoided referring to Milei and limited himself to congratulating the public for having exercised their right to vote. In the same way, he celebrated that Massa had been elected as a candidate for the Union for the Homeland.

“We have heard the voice of our people. Now begins the real campaign in favor of democracy and the rights of the people. We are going to continue united, defending the homeland and work, taking care of the rights of the people,” he said.

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