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Argentina - 2015 Election

On December 10, 2015, Cristina would abandon the Presidency but she will continue leading this political project, which was born to stay by decision of the popular majorities. Buenos Aires province governor Daniel Scioli would be the candidate to succeed President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in the 2015 election.

Justicialist Presidential pre-candidates reasserted their adhesion to the Front for Victory led by President Cristina Fernández and pledged to guarantee “the continuity of the political project launched in 2003 by former President Nestor Kirchner after Dec. 10, 2015", when the term of the present Chief of State expires. The pledge was made by Daniel Scioli, Agustín Rossi, Florencio Randazzo and Sergio Uribarri, during an 17 October 2014 celebration held in Moreno, Buenos Aires Province.

The Frente para la Victoria (Peronism) presented many possible candidates that the PASO (primary elections), if the egos allow, will be reduced to one: the governor of Entre Ríos, Sergio Urribarri, the Minister of Interior and Transport, Florencio Randazzo, the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Julián Domínguez, and the governor of Buenos Aires, Daniel Scioli.

The thirteen public opinion polls on vote intention for president published in early 2014 in the six months since the midterm election showed Tigre mayor and lawmaker Sergio Massa in first place followed by Daniel Scioli, Buenos Aires province governor. Both belong to the ruling Peronist movement, the first dissident and the second aligned with Cristina Fernandez.

The Argentine political scene is divided in four main forces: two of Peronist roots, the Renewal Front of Massa and the Victory Front of governor Scioli, who might have to confront challengers sponsored by Cristina Fernandez, such as Entre Rios governor Sergio Uribarri or Minister Florencio Randazzo. The other two groupings are non Peronist: the left leaning broad front or FAP-UNEN and PRO with conservative Mauricio Macri, mayor of the Buenos Aires City.

To avoid a November 22 run-off election, the winner needs 45% or more of the vote October 25, or 40% with a ten-point margin of difference over the second-place candidate. A poll carried out in the first half of April 2015 showed two of the three top candidates had roughly a third of the vote. Scioli led the presidential race with 33.4%, followed by Macri (27.3%) and Massa (20.1%).

All three of the leading candidates in Argentina's election race planned to dismantle outgoing President Cristina Fernandez's web of currency and trade controls and clean up government finances to boost the stagnating economy. The campaign teams differed, however, on the pace and depth of reform.

Daniel Scioli, the frontrunner for the leftist ruling party's ticket, was cautious as he targeted votes from the Fernandez faithful as well as swing voters opposed to her policies. Mauricio Macri, the pro-business opposition mayor of Buenos Aires who was running a close second place in polls, promised swift changes to win back investor confidence. And third-placed Sergio Massa, who broke ranks with the president two years ago, pitched himself in the middle.

Daniel Scioli, the front-running candidate for the ruling Justicialist Party in Argentina's presidential election, said June 17, 2015 that he wanted Carlos Zannini, an adviser from President Cristina Fernandez's inner circle, on his ticket as vice president. The choice suggested he might steer a course more in line with Fernandez's unorthodox policies.

A total of six pairs of candidates will stand for the Argentinian presidency in October after the primaries held on 09 August 2015 left another nine couplings out of the running.

Daniel Scioli, governor for Buenos Aires province and the official candidate for Front for Victory (FPV) was the front runner after the primaries with 38.41 percent of the votes, according to government data. Scioli looked to continue in the footsteps of current President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who had been in power since 2007. Scioli was vice-president to Fernandez's predecessor and husband, Nestor Kirchner, between 2003 and 2007.

Scioli's main challenger was the mayor of Buenos Aires city, the center-right Mauricio Macri who, with his party the Republican Proposal (PRO), won within the Let's Change (Cambiemos) coalition. Macri gained 24.18 percent of the votes which was enough to leave other Let's Change candidates Elisa Carrio and senator Ernesto Sanz out of the running. With three candidates, Let's Change won 30.07 percent of the country's total votes.

In third place, after Scioli and Macri, was national representative Sergio Massa who received 14.21 percent of the vote and won against Cordoba governor Jose Manuel de Sota in the A New Alternative (UNA) coalition. UNA gained 20.63 percent of the total vote from the two candidates.

The Progressive candidate Margarita Stolbizer came in fourth place on Sunday with 3.51 percent of the vote followed by representative Nicholas del Cano from the Worker's Left Front (FIT) who won over fellow alliance member Jorge Altamira with 1.69 percent of votes. With it's two candidates, the FIT reached a total of 3.31 percent of the total vote. The sixth, and final presidential candidate was the senator for San Luis province, Adolfo Rodriguez Saa, who gained 2.11 percent of votes.

According to Argentina's electoral law, pairings can only compete in October's presidential election if they have achieved at least 1.5 percent of the national vote in the primaries. If no candidate wins 45 percent of or gets 40 percent with a 10 point margin in the October 25 election, voting would go to a second round on November 22.

The polls leading up to Argentina's presidential election got it all wrong. Numerous surveys indicated ruling party candidate Daniel Scioli, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's chosen successor, would win enough votes for an outright victory. Instead, 56-year-old Mauricio Macri, the center-right mayor of Buenos Aires and former boss of the popular football club, Boca Juniors, won 35.2 percent of the vote to Scioli's 35.9 percent, with 86 percent of the polling stations reporting, virtually insuring the country's first-ever run-off election on November 22.

Exit polls show the center-right mayor of Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri, appeared headed for a victory as polls closed in Argentina's first-ever presidential runoff election November 22, 2015. The vote was widely seen as a referendum on the left-leaning policies of outgoing President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her predecessor and late husband Nestor Kirchner.

Macri, former boss of the popular football (soccer) club Boca Juniors, earned the right for the runoff against ruling party candidate Daniel Scioli after the surprising results in the October 25 polls that included four other candidates. Numerous surveys leading up to last month's vote had Scioli, President Kirchner's chosen successor, winning.

Beyond Argentina, Macri's win was met with disappointment by Latin America's progressives, and welcomed by the right wing. The victory for Macri was the first time in Argentina's history the right has taken power through the ballot box, rather than through undemocratic means.

Macri's win meant a substantial shift back to the neoliberal policies of the era before current president Cristina Fernandez and her late husband, former president Nestor Kirchner, who together had run Argentine since 2003. Macri, who was backed by big business and private media, had promised to introduce free market reforms, including greater privatization and re-establishing links with international organizations like the IMF.

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