Crisis-hit Argentina votes, with radical frontrunner in spotlight

Crisis-hit Argentina votes, with radical frontrunner in spotlight

Argentines have started voting in a national election, with a far-right libertarian candidate leading the race. This shift in the political landscape is a result of the country’s severe economic crisis. The outcome of the election is expected to impact financial markets, set a new political and social path for Argentina, and affect its relationships with trade partners such as China and Brazil. Argentina is a significant exporter of grains and has substantial reserves of lithium and shale gas.

Javier Milei, a libertarian economist, is one of the three candidates who are likely to split the vote. He gained attention after a surprising win in the open primaries in August. Centrist Peronist Economy Minister Sergio Massa and conservative Patricia Bullrich are trailing behind Milei by a small margin. Pollsters predict that there will be no outright winner, leading to a runoff vote. The polls will close at 6 p.m. local time, and the first results are expected at 9 p.m.

Milei has attracted angry voters with his promise to “chainsaw” the economic and political status quo. Many people are frustrated with the high inflation rate and widespread poverty in the country. Despite concerns about his stability and potential damage to Argentina, Milei is seen as the embodiment of society’s demands. Some compare him to Donald Trump and former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

To win the election outright, a candidate needs to secure over 45% of the vote or 40% with a 10-point lead over rivals. If no candidate achieves this, a runoff will be held on November 19. The eventual winner will face significant challenges, including an economy on the brink of collapse, empty central bank reserves, an expected recession, and a shaky $44 billion program with the International Monetary Fund.

Milei’s proposed shock therapy includes dollarizing the economy, shutting down the central bank, reducing the size of the government, and privatizing state entities. He has also expressed criticism towards China, advocated for looser gun laws, opposed abortion, and shown anti-feminist views. Supporters believe that Milei is the only candidate who truly understands the country’s situation and knows how to save it.

The rise of Milei reflects global upheaval, with high inflation, conflict, and migration fueling divisions worldwide. Some voters see the right-wing gaining ground everywhere, and the emergence of characters like Milei is seen as unthinkable. However, others trust that candidates like Massa, who promises to cut the fiscal deficit and defend the social welfare safety net, will make the right decisions.

Patricia Bullrich, a former security minister popular in business circles, has seen her support diminish due to Milei’s unexpected rise. Pollsters believe she is the most likely of the top three candidates to miss out on a second round. Many voters are tired after years of economic stagnation and express little enthusiasm for the election. They feel that previous governments have made promises but only worsened the situation.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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