Macri refuses to throw in towel after Argentine primary drubbing, currency's plunge

Cheryl Sanders
August 13, 2019

Official results showed that in the primary elections that featured 10 presidential candidates, Macri and his vice presidential running mate, Miguel Angel Pichetto, of the ruling party received just 32.08 percent of the votes, with 98.67 percent of the ballots counted, while Alberto Fernandez and his vice presidential running mate, ex-president and current Senator Cristina Fernandez, of the opposition party Frente de Todos - Front of All - garnered 47.65 percent.

In order to win the presidency outright in October, a candidate needs at least 45 per cent of the vote or 40 per cent and a difference of 10 percentage points over the second-place candidate.

When a shock defeat of incumbent president Mauricio Macri in the primary elections sparked the rout in the Argentine peso (ARS) on Monday, the Bitcoin premium was higher, implied BTC/USD passing $12,300 on Buenbit.

The result boosted the chances of former President Cristina Fernandez, who is running to be vice president to Macri's rival, of returning to the halls of power in Buenos Aires.

The election functioned largely as a poll for the October vote.

Argentina's main political parties had already chosen their presidential nominees, allowing the primary to serve as a first concrete measure of voter sentiment.

Argentina is in a deep recession, and inflation for the first six months of the year is at 22%.

Ms Kirchner said: "We know of the hard moment that the country is going through, of millions of Argentines who have lost their jobs, we have talked with so many, we know what it is". The massive $57 billion deal Macri secured a year ago with the International Monetary Fund has so far failed to improve the situation.

The Fernandez ticket, whose two members are not related, contends Macri must be defeated so they can fight the poverty and homelessness that they blame on his policies.

"We always fix the problems that others create", said Fernandez to thousands of cheering supporters in Buenos Aires on Sunday night. "We have come to give Argentina a better horizon", Fernandez said.

Analysts predict a slide in Argentine stock and bond prices when financial markets open on Monday if Fernandez records a lead of more than five to six percentage points - slightly more than the level predicted in recent opinion polls.

Cristina Fernandez is now facing a series of trials for corruption during her 2007-2015 administration.

If he loses, this will be the end of a pro-business agenda to save Argentina's economy that has been implemented since Mr Macri came to power in 2015, which includes International Monetary Fund loans, austerity measures and the end of capital controls.

On Sunday, centre-right Macri was dealt a huge blow in his bid for re-election in October when he polled 15 points less than centre-left candidate Fernandez.

Other reports by iNewsToday