Massa vs Milei: Argentina arrives with uncertainty at the “change” elections

“Change” It is one of the most repeated words in the election campaign which will conclude this Sunday in Argentina with the second round of the presidential elections; Nobody wants the country to continue in an inertia that leads directly to hyperinflation nor that their politicians continue to insult each other.

Without a doubt, the opposition – in any of the formations that fought before the final instance on November 19 – was the one that most defended the need to end the Government of Alberto Fernandez (Peronism), which accumulates a 142.7% inflation year-on-year, a 40.1% poverty and an exchange gap greater than 200%.

The most extreme speech, that of the leader of Freedom Advances (far right), Javier Mileiis the one that reached the runoff: “A different Argentina is impossible with the same people as always.”

Opposite, the candidate from Union for the Homeland (Peronism), Sergio Massamember of the current Executive and responsible for the most committed portfolio: Economy.

He also advocated for a “change” and defended the need to create a “Government of national unity” and seek “consensus”: “On December 10 the crack dies.”

uncertain outlook

Some 35.8 million Argentines are called to vote this Sunday in a second round of the presidential elections that are presented very close and in the midst of the celebration for 40 years of uninterrupted democracy after the end of the last military dictatorship (1976-1983).

The outlook is so uncertain that there is no clear favorite. The polls show a technical tie, since some give the ruling party as the favorite and others the opposition; in both cases, with little advantage.

It is no less true that few trust the pollsafter that, in the August primaries, no one predicted Milei’s victory and that, in the October general elections, no one gave Massa as the winner and they did announce Milei’s victory, some even in the first round.

The decision for a candidate responsible for the current economic portfolio – and its figures – or for another who threatens plans that, according to the majority of experts, are “unrealizable” and rides a chainsaw as a metaphor for what he would do with public spending will lead many citizens to vote blank.

The projections indicate that it will increase compared to the 2% of the general elections held on October 22, in which, in addition, there was 22.3% abstention.

For this reason, one of the jobs of the candidates in the campaign has been to try to convince those who did not go to vote and those who did, but in favor of the other candidates: among the center-right Patricia Bullrich (Together for Change), the dissident Peronist Juan Schiaretti (We do for Our Country) and the leader of the Left Front Myriam Bregman They added 8.8 million votes.

They can tip the balance, without their leaders -except Bullrich- giving indications: Schiaretti and Bregman spoke out in favor of the “neutrality” in the campaign, while the former Minister of Security forgot that Milei had called her a “monton bomb thrower” and supported him to the point that she participated in his closing rally in Córdoba – the second electoral nucleus in the country and an anti-Kirchnerist fiefdom.

To these other forces, including Together for Change, Massa extended his hand for his promised united Government and, to distance himself from the former president Cristina Fernandez (2007-2015), who has pulled the strings of Peronist politics in recent years, said: “No one manages me”differentiating herself from Alberto Fernández, whom the current vice president announced as a candidate in 2019.

Enmity with Kirchnerism for many years and at one time so close to the former president Mauricio Macri (2015-2019) – who is now campaigning for Milei – who in 2016 was elected as a member of his delegation to the Davos Forum, the Minister of Economy – whom his detractors call “careerist” and “liar” – has shown off knowing how to move in the political arena with cunning.

His rival is a newcomer to politics, an economist who achieved impact on television talk showswho has been a deputy since 2021 and, in just two years, has managed to give his political force a chance to win in the second presidential round.

No one can predict what will happen this Sunday, but what is expected is a “change.”

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