Silhouettes of People Holding Flag of Argentina

Argentina’s Return to Populism: 5 Geopolitical Effects You Need to Know

1. Argentina’s incoming elections

Argentina’s election season is coming up, and the country’s future is up in the air, as there is no clear favourite at first glance. In October, the victor will need to obtain 45 per cent of the vote, or win 40 to 44 per cent of the vote and remain 10 per cent ahead of the runner-up. Failing that, voters will go back to the polls for a runoff in November. Argentines will also be voting to fill half the seats in the lower house of Congress, known as the Chamber of Deputies, and one-third of the Senate seats. Meanwhile, the powerful province of Buenos Aires, which accounts for about 40 per cent of registered voters, will also elect provincial and municipal legislators. In a system that requires a clear majority to win, with no clear favourite, it is not a surprise that many people are taking interest in Argentina’s upcoming elections.

2. Is populism returning in Argentina?

President Mauricio Macri, who won the Argentinian elections 4 years ago, surprising many, was seen as a sign of the defeat of populism and economic freedom and reform. Now, however, after an economic decline and crisis, his approval ratings have slipped, and there is a fear of the return of populism in Argentina. The Macri campaign’s struggles should come as no surprise. Though he remains beloved by Western governments and investors, his pro-market policies are broadly considered a failure at home. Furthermore, what is surprising, is the strength of his populist opponents, despite memories of Fernández de Kirchner’s turbulent administration. It appears Alberto Fernández and Fernández de Kirchner offer Argentines a seemingly irresistible promise: a return to generous public spending on infrastructure, government jobs, social programs and higher wages that appeals to a population accustomed to public largess. Their return to power will be welcomed by the Argentinian public.

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3. Result of elections will have a big impact on markets

4. Argentina’s politics still dominated by Peron

5. Opposition gains big win

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