Argentina's Macri bashed as voters back predecessor's ticket

Following the results on Sunday Macri vowed to'redouble his efforts to ensure victory in October

Argentina's beleaguered peso currency collapsed 30.3 per cent to a record 65 per United States dollar on Monday (Aug 12), traders said, after market-friendly President Mauricio Macri's worse-than-expected performance in the country's Sunday primary election. The vote, however, is an opportunity to poll voters and determine potential front-runners in the future race.

Macri said he would "reverse" the result of Sunday's primary, but acknowledged that a weaker peso triggered by the surge in support for Peronist opposition candidate Alberto Fernandez and his running mate former President Cristina Fernandez would fuel inflation. The Sunday vote landed the incumbent presidentwere with 32.36 percent of support, while Fernandez obtained 47.22 percent.

General elections will be held in the South American country on Oct 27, to elect the president, members of the national congress and the governors of most provinces.

Fernandez can also avoid a run-off if he wins with 40% with a lead of at least 10 percentage points over his closest challengers.

"We've had a bad election and that forces us to redouble our efforts from tomorrow", said Macri, whose popularity has plunged since last year's currency crisis and the much-criticized $56 billion International Monetary Fund bail-out loan he secured.

A person casts a vote at a polling station during the primary elections in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on August 11, 2019.

Argentina is in a deep recession, and inflation for the first six months of the year is at 22%.


The Argentine president said he was taking the necessary and painful steps to get the economy going after 12 years of populist policies under former President Cristina Fernandez and her predecessor and late husband, Nestor Kirchner.

Ms Kirchner said: "We know of the hard moment that the country is going through, of millions of Argentines who have lost their jobs, we have talked with so many, we know what it is".

Cristina Fernandez is now facing a series of trials for corruption during her 2007-2015 administration.

Speaking in Buenos Aires after the result Mr Fernandez said: "Argentinians realised we are the change, not them", and vowed "to end this time of lies and give a new horizon".

Macri, who assumed the presidency in 2015, won on a promise to boost the economy.

But the Buenos Aires stock exchange shot up eight per cent on Friday amid expectation that Macri would do well in Sunday's vote.

Despite Macri's struggles, investors see the Fernandez ticket as a riskier prospect due to the opposition's previous interventionist policies.

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