Argentina’s Peronist ruling coalition soared in the country’s midterm elections on Sunday, securing the largest share of the vote but falling short of an outright majority, setting up a potential showdown with the radical right-wing candidate Javier Milei in a November runoff.
The Peronist coalition, led by President Alberto Fernández, won 37% of the vote, according to preliminary results, while Milei’s Freedom Avanza party came in second with 17%.
To avoid a runoff, a candidate must win 45% of the vote or 40% and a 10-point lead over their nearest rival.
The Peronists’ victory was seen as a vote of confidence in Fernández, who has faced a number of challenges during his first two years in office, including a sharp economic downturn and the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the fact that the Peronists failed to secure an outright majority is a sign of growing dissatisfaction among voters with the status quo.
Milei, a controversial economist who has been accused of promoting fascist and misogynistic views, has emerged as a powerful voice on the right in recent months. He has tapped into public anger over the country’s economic woes and has promised to shake up the political establishment.
The outcome of the November runoff will be closely watched, as it could have major implications for Argentina’s future. A Peronist victory would likely ensure that Fernández remains in power for the next two years, while a Milei victory would represent a major shift in Argentine politics.