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In Historic Upset, Argentina’s Peronist Left Loses Senate Control for First Time Since 1983

En Argentina la izquierda pierde el control del Senado por primera vez desde 1983

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Argentina’s main opposition coalition, Juntos por el Cambio (Together for Change), outpolled the ruling party in the most important districts of the country, as confirmed on Monday by the data from the provisional vote count of Sunday’s legislative elections.

This is the first time that Peronism loses control of the Senate in the democratic era that began in 1983.

More than 34 million Argentines were called to vote at the polls 127 of the 257 seats in the Chamber of Deputies — where no group now has an absolute majority — and 24 of the 72 in the Senate, where the Peronist ruling party will lose its comfortable majority.

For the Lower House, Juntos por el Cambio, a coalition to which the center-right former President Mauricio Macri (2015-2019) belongs, won in 12 of the 24 districts — 13 if the triumph of an ally in the province of San Luis is counted — compared to the nine provinces in which the Frente de Todos, the leftist party of the ruling party, won.

In the case of the Senate, the ruling party only led in two of the eight provinces where representatives for the Upper House are to be elected this year, while in the other six provinces the main opposition coalition was the most voted.

View today of the building of the Congress of the Argentinian Nation, in Buenos Aires (Image: EFE)

Results in Buenos Aires:

The list of candidates for deputies presented by Juntos obtained 39.81% of the votes in the province of Buenos Aires, which gathers 37% of the national electoral roll, with 98.17% of the votes counted in the provisional count.

The list of the ruling Frente de Todos followed, with 38.53% of the votes, followed by other opposition proposals.

Regarding the following districts, in the province of Córdoba, the lists of the same opposition coalition are also ahead with 54.04% of the votes; in Santa Fe with 40.23% and in the city of Buenos Aires with 47.01%.

In the capital city, the irruption of the party of the libertarian economist Javier Milei, a political ‘outsider’ very popular in the media for his discourse against the political “caste”, stands out, coming in third place with 17.03% of the votes. His party entered the Chamber for the first time with two seats, right behind the candidate of the Frente de Todos list, which obtains 25.10%.

Javier Milei (Image: Twitter)

Government reactions

The elections—the first with the Peronist Alberto Fernández as president—were considered a sort of plebiscite to his first two years in office, marked by the management of the pandemic and the continuity of long recession that began in 2018, when another two years are left for the next presidential elections.

This appointment with the polls was preceded by the primaries of last September, in which the lists of Juntos por el Cambio were the most voted in almost all the country, ahead of the Government’s proposals, which generated strong tensions between the President and the former President and now Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

This situation led to the change of several ministers and internal fights within the leftist coalition.

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