On August 13, 2023, the presidential elections commenced in Argentina. Travelers to the country should be vigilant about the election’s unfolding, as two candidates promise to dollarize the economy, impacting how tourists exchange currencies there.
- First Round 13/8/23 – PASO (Open, Simultaneous, and Mandatory Primaries)
- Results of the PASO Primary Argentina Elections
- 3 Leading 2023 Candidates in Argentina Elections
- What are the next chapters in the 2023 Argentina Elections?
First Round 13/8/23 – PASO (Open, Simultaneous, and Mandatory Primaries)
PASO in Argentina are primary elections in which all political parties participate to select their candidates.
These Argentinean PASO elections are mandatory and follow these rules:
- Multiple candidacies from a single party or alliance: If a party or alliance has more than one pre-candidate for the presidency, all will compete in PASO. The candidate who receives the most votes within that party or alliance will move on to the general elections;
- Minimum threshold: To participate in the general elections, a party or alliance candidate must obtain at least 1.5% of the valid votes in PASO;
- Indication for general elections: While they don’t decide the general election winners, PASO can hint at political trends and forces at play.
Therefore, PASO is a pivotal stage in Argentina’s electoral process, ensuring that the advancing candidates have a minimum public support backing while providing a preview of the country’s political landscape.
Results of the PASO Primary Argentina Elections
Find more statistics at Statista
Encuentre más estadísticas en Statista
3 Leading 2023 Candidates in Argentina Elections
Javier Milei (La Libertad Avança) Top Individual and Party Winner of PASO
Born in Buenos Aires in 1970, Milei is an economist and professor. He’s a proponent of the Austrian school of economics and self-identifies as “anarcho-capitalist in theory,” “liberal-libertarian,” and “minarchist in reality.”
Milei has authored several books on politics and economics and gained prominence in television debates with his compelling ways of expressing and debating his ideals.
Since 2021, Milei has served as a national deputy for the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, elected in that year’s legislative elections. Currently, he’s running for the presidency in the 2023 elections, having secured the top spot in PASO with 30% of the votes.
With no competitors within his party in PASO, La Libertad Avanza also emerged as the top party, winning in 16 out of 24 districts.
Photo By Todo Noticias – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myRNpPobQiA, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=79190407
- Free Currency Competition: Establish a system in Argentina where the peso would coexist with other currencies, potentially leading to dollarization and facilitating foreign debt payment since the country is informally dollarized, and these dollars aren’t part of the official economy.
- Labor Law Reform: Introduce an unemployment insurance model where workers contribute from their salaries to a personal fund for unemployment;
- Deregulation and Tax Reduction: Simplify bureaucratic processes, reduce or eliminate certain taxes to stimulate production and investments;
- “Plan Motosierra”: Significant state expense reduction, reducing the number of ministries to 8;
- Removal of Subsidies: Eliminate subsidies in transport, energy, and various public services;
- Privatization of Public Companies: For instance, hand Aerolíneas Argentinas to its employees to manage as a cooperative after the government clears its debts;
- Education Reform: Propose a competition among educational institutions using a voucher system;
- Judicial Reform: Ensure that perpetrators pay for their crimes.
Sérgio Massa (Unión por la Pátria) Current Minister of Economy
Born in San Martín in 1972, Massa is a lawyer. He began his political journey with the Democratic Center Union as a teenager and later championed Peronism, serving as a provincial deputy.
He became mayor of Tigre in 2007 and was appointed Chief of Staff by Cristina Kirchner in 2009.
After founding Frente Renovadora in 2013, he was elected national deputy for Buenos Aires and opposed Cristina’s consecutive re-election attempt.
Though he ran for president in 2015, in 2019, he chose to support the ticket of Alberto Fernández and Cristina Kirchner.
He served as the President of the Chamber of Deputies and, in 2022, was appointed Minister of Economy.
Massa was the second-placed individual, with his political faction ranking third.
Photo By Tigre Municipio – https://www.flickr.com/photos/tigremunicipio/7788454278/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39782461
- Fiscal Balance: Ensure that government expenditures don’t exceed its revenues;
- Trade Surplus: Aim for a positive trade balance, strengthening the currency and international reserves;
- Competitive Exchange Rate: Stabilize the Argentine peso, making it more appealing and reliable internationally;
- Inclusive Development: Ensure economic growth benefits all Argentine sectors, focusing on income and opportunity distribution;
- Investment in Education: Strengthen public education with significant investments in universities;
- Relationship with the IMF: Establish a transparent and constructive relationship with the International Monetary Fund, seeking solutions for the external debt and agreements that benefit the Argentine economy;
- Education oriented towards the modern job market: Massa wants to update the secondary school curriculum by incorporating training in technology, programming, and robotics;
- Security and fight against crime: Intensify the fight against insecurity, crime, and drug trafficking, through investments in prevention systems, criminal intelligence, and technology.
Born in 1956 in Buenos Aires, Bullrich held several significant political positions. She was Minister of National Security from 2015 to 2019 and a national deputy.
She served as Minister of Labor from 2000 to 2001, Minister of Social Security in 2001, and Secretary of Criminal Policy between 1999 and 2000.
Bullrich graduated in Humanities and Social Sciences, has a master’s degree in Political Science and Sociology, and a Ph.D. in Political Science.
Bullrich belongs to the traditional Argentine Pueyrredón family, with ancestors who held significant positions in the country’s politics.
Patricia came in third individually, with her political space coming in second.
Photo By Ministerio de Seguridad – Ministerio de Seguridad, CC BY 2.5 ar, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74912572
- End of “cepo” (strict currency control): Eliminate restrictions on the purchase and sale of foreign currencies, facilitating international transactions;
- Labor reform: Propose changes to the laws governing labor relations, possibly making the market more flexible;
- Implementation of a single dollar rate: Eliminate different exchange rates in the country, establishing a single value for the dollar;
- Reduce the number of ministries (between 8 and 10): Reduce bureaucracy and the size of the government, optimizing public management;
- Reforms focusing on informal workers: Focus on regularizing the situation of informal workers or those in ambiguous employment conditions;
- Reconfiguration of the social plan: Transform the current social plan into simpler unemployment insurance, focused on helping the unemployed reintegrate into the job market;
- Pursuit of fiscal balance and the implementation of reasonable tariffs: Promote responsible fiscal policies and tariffs that reflect actual costs, avoiding deficits and the drainage of resources;
- Maintaining public order, combating illegal usurpations, street protests, and other outlaw activities: Strengthen security and public order, confronting illegal occupations and protests that disturb the peace.
What are the next chapters in the 2023 Argentina Elections?
Finally, in Argentina, the electoral system to elect a president is a two-round system, similar to that used in several other countries:
- First Round (October 22):
- Firstly, to be elected in the first round, a candidate must obtain:
- More than 45% of valid votes, or;
- More than 40% of valid votes with a difference of 10 percentage points over the second place.
- Firstly, to be elected in the first round, a candidate must obtain:
- Second Round (or Balotaje – November 19):
- If no candidate meets the requirements mentioned above, the process moves to the second round;
- It only confronts the two most voted candidates from the first round;
- In this way, the president is elected by whoever obtains the most votes.