Argentina could be set for a political shift, with the country’s main opposition party landing a significant blow against Peronism last week, winning key races in a congressional primary vote that is a strong indicator of midterm results in November.
But more than just an imminent electoral defeat, Peronism are also facing an existential challenge. Polls show that the dominant political force in Argentina is losing support among younger voters and working classes — both constituencies which were, for decades, their key strongholds.
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- Ignacio Portes is The Brazilian Report’s Buenos Aires correspondent. He writes the Latin America Weekly newsletter and covers affairs around the continent. He previously worked for the Buenos Aires Herald and The Bubble, and has written for outlets such as Al Jazeera and The Financial Times.
- Tough primaries were on the cards for President Alberto Fernández. Weeks before the polls crushed the government’s coalition, our reporting already projected the looming losses.
- Still, the unprecedented defeat leaves him close to losing Congress. Peronists could now lose control of the Senate for the first time in a century.
- It will also undermine the president’s authority over his own administration. That began to happen with VP Cristina Kirchner forcing a cabinet reshuffle — which nevertheless spared Economy Minister Martín Guzmán, Buenos Aires’s liaison with the International Monetary Fund.
- Alberto Fernández imposed harsh Covid restrictions on Argentinian citizens. But what was arguably the world’s longest lockdown didn’t avoid a Covid collapse late last year — which left many disgruntled with the government.
- But with vaccine rollouts advancing, Covid deaths have taken a nosedive — and restrictions are finally being lifted.
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