December 8, 2023

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Argentina elections: Javier Miley and Sergio Massa compete in the presidential runoff

Argentina elections: Javier Miley and Sergio Massa compete in the presidential runoff

Alejandro Bagni/AFP/Getty Images

A woman casts her vote at a polling station in Buenos Aires on November 19, 2023.


Polls are open in Argentina A high-stakes presidential runoff is scheduled to pit far-right liberal candidate Javier Miley against left-leaning Economy Minister Sergio Massa.

A video clip broadcast by Reuters showed that supporters of the candidates were warmly received when they arrived to cast their votes on Sunday. Wearing a leather jacket, Miley walked through a raucous crowd of cheering onlookers in Buenos Aires, clasping hands, waving and signing autographs. “Now is the time for people to express themselves” by voting, he said.

Masa seemed a little calmer. He was joined by his son and made time to hug and talk with people in the crowd in Tigre, a town on the outskirts of the capital where he previously served as mayor. Massa took several photos before entering the polling station and mingling with poll workers and voters. After the vote, Massa asked citizens to reflect and “think about the future.”

The current President of Argentina, Alberto Fernandez, previously wrote on Twitter, describing it as an important and happy day. He added: “Argentines will express themselves and elect our future.”

More than 86,000 members of the country’s security forces were deployed to nearly 17,000 polling sites across the country, according to Argentina’s official news agency, Telam.

Public opinion polls have shown the two candidates competing in recent weeks, with Miley and Massa putting forward radically different visions for the country, which is grappling with some of the highest levels of inflation in the world.

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The sudden rise of Milley, a self-described “anarcho-capitalist,” came on the back of his stunts during the election campaign, including using a chainsaw at rallies to symbolize his plans to dramatically cut government expenditures. His landmark policy proposal is to adopt the US dollar as Argentina’s national currency – an unprecedented move for a country of its size.

Mathias Delacroix/AFP

Miley, of the Liberty Advances coalition, arrives to vote in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, November 19, 2023.

Massa is a lifelong politician whose candidacy, in contrast to Miley’s, has come to represent Argentina’s political establishment.

Although inflation reached painful heights – 142% year-on-year – during his term, Massa sought to claim that the government’s current measures are already working, with October’s inflation rate standing at 35% lower than in September. /September.

He helped pass the country’s law that legalized abortion in 2020 and is a believer in climate change. Miley is anti-abortion and climate skeptic.

Mariana Nedelko/Reuters

Massa points out as he speaks on the day of Argentina’s presidential election runoff, in Tigre, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, on November 19.

The race is being closely watched as the latest test of far-right populism in the region. Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro supported Miley’s candidacy.

Polls close at 6 p.m. local time (4 p.m. Eastern time) and a quick vote count is expected.

CNN’s Stefano Pozzibone in Bogotá and Abel Alvarado in Atlanta contributed reporting.