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Country Reports

Primaries in Argentina

Surprising landslide victory for Javier Milei

On Sunday 13 August, the Primarias Abiertas, Simultáneas y Obligatorias, or PASO for short, took place in Argentina. Since 2009, the candidates of the parties for the parliamentary and presidential elections have been determined in the open primaries, which are obligatory for all citizens entitled to vote. The PASO are particularly important for smaller parties, as they decide which political forces will ultimately be allowed to stand for election on 22 October. To do so, they have to win at least 1.5 % of the vote.

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To the great surprise of all experts and election researchers, the undisputed winner of the primaries is Javier Milei, leader of the party he founded, La Libertad Avanza. According to the preliminary election results, Milei won 30.04% of the voters with 97% of the votes counted, making him by far the most elected candidate. The two pre-candidates from the opposition alliance Juntos por el Cambio, Patricia Bullrich and Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, together won 28.27% of the vote, with Bullrich prevailing in the internal competition with 16.98% of the vote against Larreta with 11.29%.

The clear loser of the election night is the current ruling Peronism, whose electoral alliance Unión por la Patria came a distant third with 27.27%, losing a good 20 percentage points compared to the 2019 primary. The current Minister of Economy and Finance, Sergio Massa, won 21.40% of the vote, beating Juan Grabois, a candidate close to Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, with 5.87%. The moderate Peronist governor of Córdoba Juan Schiaretti stood for Hacemos por nuestro País and won over 3.83% of the voters. Myriam Bregman won with 1.86% of the vote for the left-wing alliance Frente de Izquierda- Unidad against her competitor Gabriel Solano with 0.79%. This means that the five candidates and parties who will run in the elections on 22 October have been determined. Another 10 parties or party alliances that had contested the primaries did not reach the 1.5% hurdle. The completely surprising and unpredictable election result is like a jolt through Argentinean politics and society.

The full-length publication is only available in German.


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Susanne Käss

Susanne Käss bild

Head of KAS Argentina / Head of KAS Brazil (acting) +54 11 4326-2552


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