Argentina wraps up electoral campaigns marked by exchange rate turmoil

Buenos Aires, Nov 11 (EFE).- Argentina’s main political forces closed their electoral campaigns ahead of Sunday’s midterm elections, after a final stretch marked by growing exchange rate turmoil, inflation and insecurity.

The two largest coalitions, the ruling Frente de Todos (Everyone’s Front) and the opposition Juntos por el Cambio (Together for Change), ended their campaigns on Thursday with two mass events in the province of Buenos Aires, the largest electoral district in the country, with 37 percent of the national electoral roll.

In the September primaries, Juntos por el Cambio obtained more than 40 percent of the votes throughout the country, while the Frente de Todos reaped just over 30 percent.

In those primaries, the ruling party lost support in almost all districts, including the province of Buenos Aires, its main electoral stronghold.

Argentinian President Alberto Fernández defended his management on Thursday, saying the country “is advancing” under the path dictated by the government: more national production and more registered employment.

“We are going to try to take firm steps so that this growth that we see reaches every Argentinian. It is not enough for us that the GDP grows more than nine points if the lives of Argentinians do not improve,” said the president at the closing of the Frente de Todos campaign in Merlo.

This budding economic recovery, and progress in the vaccination rate, were the main milestones claimed by the head of state in his speech, which included numerous criticisms of the opposition.

He was accompanied by the former president and current vice president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, whose presence had been in doubt due to surgery last week.

The concern within the ruling coalition over Sunday’s results contrasts with the optimism of the candidates of Juntos por el Cambio, a formation made up Unión Cívica Radical (Radical Civic Union) and the Coalición Cívica (Civic Coalition).

“This November 14 we discuss what country we want – if we want a country with progress or stagnation, if we want freedom or oppression,” said Diego Santilli, the head of the list of candidates for Juntos por el Cambio deputies for the province of Buenos Aires.

The opponent focused his speech on the economy, which registered an interannual inflation of 52.1 percent in October and is experiencing serious exchange rate turmoil with the so-called ‘blue dollar’ selling at a new all-time high on Thursday.

“We asked the government for a job and they gave us a small amount of money, as if they could buy our dignity,” Santilli said, referring to the social aid deployed by the government after its defeat in the primaries.

Santilli also addressed insecurity and penal code reform.

In these legislative elections, 127 of the 257 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 24 of the 72 seats in the Senate will be renewed.

The biggest question is what will happen to the battered economy of the South American country on Nov. 15 if the ruling party is defeated, a result that some analysts say could cause a new devaluation of the Argentinian currency. EFE


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