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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Argentina: Macri's victory pushes Latin America to the right

In the final round of the Argentine presidential election yesterday the new president Mauricio Macri, Mayor of the City of Buenos Aires, won by less than two points. He won 51.4% against 48.6% won by Daniel Scioli. A new political force comes into being in Latin America.

Cristina Kirchner, who succeeded her husband Nestor as President, was unable to stand for a third presidential term.

A new phenomenon

Macri is a new political phenomenon. For seven decades in the Argentina Presidential Palace Casa Rosada there has been a zig-zagging between representatives of two parties: the Peronist and radical party. Macri has never played in any of these two movements.

Unlike Peronism and radicalism that initially came to have a 'leftist' or rebellious nature, Macri has always been a militant of the right, in addition to being a millionaire.

He, however, does not represent a 'hard', but rather a 'modern' right. Macri has become popular chairing the club Boca Juniors and being a good mayor of the capital city. He has been able to muster the support of the bulk of the Argentina center-having managed to incorporate in his Cambiemos movement (Let us change) Elisa Carrio, who was before the candidate of the "progressive" opposition against Cristina Kirchner. He also says he will defend many of the social and nationalist measures of Kirchner. (Kirchnerism was based on subsidies for the poor, the increase of tariffs on imports and the privatization of the oil company YPF).

Now Macri has won it is expected that there will be a new economic adjustment. Scioli almost managed to avoid defeat of Kirchnerism appealing to the vote of the unions against new neo-liberal measures, though his program was very similar to his opponent.

Macri's triumph was welcomed by the stock exchange and will involve a gradual turn in the negotiations over the Malvinas (where Argentina will become more open to dialogue with the United Kingdom) and also to the US (Buenos Aires will lean more toward Washington).

New center-right movement

Macrista strategy expresses the rise of a new center-right like Citizens in Spain or Venezuela, which want to take advantage of this victory to defeat President Nicolas Maduro  in the legislative elections. Both Chavez and the Brazilian PT confront the growth of a right claiming advantages in the polls and seeking to return to power.

However, Macri will not have an easy agenda. Kirchnerism has an absolute majority in the Senate and majority in the chamber of deputies. Radicalism, which was reduced to less than 5% in the August elections, is the force that has the majority of parliamentarians and governments in Macri's Cambiemos movement. Of the 24 governorates half (12) are in the hands of Kirchnerism, another 4 in other Peronist factions, 3 are radicals, 3 are other forces and only 2 are of the PRO.

The vast majority of the unions called for a vote against Macri, who will not have the advantage that Peronism had to negotiate with them cutback measures. Moreover, Kirchnerism will want to avenge defeat by taking advantage of such forces to undermine its opponent, the new President.

Isaac Bigio

Translated from the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru

By Cristina Ferreira da Silva

 

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