Argentina is heading to a close presidential election on November 19, 2023, with two candidates offering contrasting visions for the country’s future.
Center-left Peronist economy chief Sergio Massa and libertarian outsider Javier Milei are competing for the support of undecided voters in key regions, such as the capital Buenos Aires and the central province of Cordoba.
Massa, who narrowly won the first round in October, is promising a unity government and gradual reforms to tackle the economic crisis that has worsened under his administration.
Argentina is facing a shortage of foreign currency reserves, inflation over 100%, and a recession. Massa has pledged to renegotiate the country’s debt with the International Monetary Fund and boost social spending and subsidies for the poor.
Milei, who came in second place with the backing of conservative and anti-establishment voters, is proposing a radical overhaul of the economy, including large public spending cuts, dollarization, and the abolition of the central bank. Milei argues that his “chainsaw” plan is the only way to end the cycle of inflation and devaluation that has plagued Argentina for decades.
The two candidates have been campaigning hard in the last days before the vote, focusing on the areas where they have the most potential to sway voters. Massa has been visiting the populous Buenos Aires province, where he has a strong base of support among the working class and the Peronist movement. Milei has been touring the central Cordoba province, where he hopes to attract more votes from the agricultural and industrial sectors, which have been hit hard by the fuel shortage and the high taxes.
The election is expected to be a tight race, with polls showing a statistical tie between the two candidates. Analysts say that the outcome will depend on the turnout, the performance of the candidates in the final debate, and the preferences of the voters who did not vote for Massa or Milei in the first round.