Weekly Report - 26 October 2023 (WR-23-43)

Massa to meet Milei in second round showdown

Sergio Massa could hardly have contested the first round of Argentina’s presidential elections on 22 October in worse shape. As economy minister, the candidate for the ruling Peronist coalition Unión por la Patria (UP) has ultimate responsibility for the inexorable climb of inflation (currently 138%), pushing poverty over 40%, and a plummeting peso. In spite of all this, Massa came out on top of the pile in the first round, some seven percentage points ahead of the far-right populist Javier Milei, who had finished first in the primary elections (Paso) in August and was frontrunner in the polls. The candidate for the traditional right-of-centre opposition Juntos por el Cambio (JxC), Patricia Bullrich, came third, a dismal showing which could lead to the dissolution of the coalition.

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