The two days of reflection have already begun in Argentina ahead of the second round of the presidential elections, which will be decided definitively this coming Sunday. At play, two completely antagonistic visions of politics and society, although both accept that the country needs an urgent economic turnaround. And both ended the campaign promising that, if they win, on Monday they will begin to implement those changes they promise.
The one who would have it easier is Sergio Massa, who is still the active Minister of Economy. The Peronist candidate, supported by all the provincial governors of his party, promised to “continue working, even though Monday is a holiday.” Above the table, advertisements a fiscal adjustment “without harming the most vulnerable” and a reorganization of the dozen different exchange rates, an economic delirium that only hinders investment.
The biggest question, if he wins, is who would be the economy minister who would succeed him. According to Clarín, Massa would have spoken with Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, outgoing mayor of Buenos Aires for the centrist opposition coalition Together for Change, to offer him the position. Massa had already promised that he would try to form a ‘Government of national unity’, and offering the key portfolio in the Executive to Peronism’s historical rivals would be a very direct way of demonstrating it. Larreta rejected it, according to the media, due to his expectations of leading the opposition space in the future, but the offer would still stand if Massa wins.
For their part, those around the libertarian Jorge Milei advanced that I would have already prepared a bill to dollarize the country. According to the leaks, the text would reduce the Central Bank to some supervisory tasks, removing all other powers and leaving the country’s monetary future in the hands of the United States. The favorite candidate for Minister of Economy would be Federico Sturzenegger, who was governor of the Central Bank with Mauricio Macriwith whom the radical candidate meets frequently.
Precisely, former President Macri, who was the one who pushed conservative candidate Patricia Bullrich to support Milei and offered her advisors and representatives to monitor the electoral campaign, wants to have greater weight in the possible libertarian government. An agreement with which both win, since has allowed Milei’s image to be ‘moderated’.
Uncertainty until the end
At the moment, surveys point to a technical tie with Milei slightly above, although those around the libertarian candidate see him with much more optimism. From Massa, for their part, they see Milei’s latest moves to delegitimize the elections, filing a complaint for an alleged conspiracy to commit fraud and refusing to deliver sufficient ballots to the electoral Justice (because “they steal them from us”), as a sign of fear. “No one delegitimizes an election they hope to win,” they warn.
Even so, The polls in Argentina fail more than a fairground shotgun, so any result is possible on Sunday. And no matter what happens, the new president will have to live with a Congress with an anti-Peronist majority and a Peronist Senate, in a system in which the affirmative votes of both Houses are essential to approve any measure. An Argentina more divided than ever awaits a Government that will have to close ‘the crack’ to survive.