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Argentina Election Results: Peronist On Top

Argentina's Peronist economy minister, Sergio Massa, unexpectedly won the first round of the 2023 presidential election, facing a polarizing run-off.

Argentina's Peronist economy minister, Sergio Massa, has defied expectations by securing a surprise victory over libertarian outsider Javier Milei in the first round of the 2023 presidential election on October 22. The upcoming run-off between the two candidates on November 19 is expected to be highly polarizing as they compete to steer the country out of one of its worst economic crises, marked by growing poverty and a three-digit inflation rate.

Massa emerged victorious in the first round with 36.7% of the vote, while Milei secured 30%. The elimination of the second anti-Peronist candidate, Patricia Bullrich, who received just 23.8% of the vote, raises questions about where her votes will go in the run-off. Economist Alejandro Grisanti believes that Milei has reached his peak and is unable to surpass it.

The surprising victory of Massa, who is the current economic minister presiding over the economic crisis, has been attributed to the strength of Peronism. Additionally, Massa's campaign strategy, which highlighted the potential impact of Milei's no-subsidies policy on public transportation fares, may have resonated with voters. This strong showing in the first round suggests that the run-up to the November run-off will likely see further pre-election developments.

Following the election, the winning candidate will take office on December 10 and face the daunting task of reviving Argentina's economy. According to emerging markets economist Kimberley Sperrfechter, even a more market-friendly administration will find this challenge daunting. Despite his flaws, Massa's victory represents certainty and the preservation of the status quo, providing a sense of stability in uncertain times.

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