After Everything Conservative Wins Argentina’s Presidential Runoff.
Twelve years of rule by the Peronist party in Argentina came to an end as a result of the November 22, 2015, presidential runoff election, which was won by conservative candidate Mauricio. Macri.
The candidate of the Let’s Change party, the mayor of Buenos Aires, and the scion of one of Argentina’s wealthiest families, Macri defeated Daniel Scioli, the former governor of Buenos Aires province and the handpicked candidate of outgoing president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
Macri garnered about 51 percent of the vote, while Scioli polled about 48 percent. The runoff election was forced when neither candidate obtained the 45 percent of the vote necessary for victory in the first-round election in October.
Although Scioli was thought to have had a big lead going into the first round, he only narrowly defeated Macri, capturing about 37 percent to 34 percent for Macri.
Fernández de Kirchner, whose husband, Néstor Kirchner, had been elected president in 2003 to begin the run of leftist Peronist rule, was constitutionally prohibited from running for another term.
Macri, a longtime businessman and former chief executive of the Boca Juniors association football (soccer) team—whose success helped launch his political career—promised to initiate pro-business policies.
The Argentine economy has struggled with inflation. Moreover, the country was forced into technical default in 2014 when a U.S. Supreme Court ruling went against Argentina regarding the country’s debt to U.S. hedge funds. The promise of the return to neoliberal economic policies under Macri unnerved many on the Argentine left, and at least one international news source, Britain’s Guardian, called Macri’s election the “most significant defeat for a leftist candidate in South America for more than 10 years.”
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