With less than a week before the PASOs (Simultaneous and Mandatory Open Primaries), the top two campaigns are making their final sprint towards next Sunday’s vote, with uncertainty abound on just how well Kirchernite presidential pre-candidate Alberto Fernández will perform.
For Fernández and his Frente de Todos running-mate former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the economic crisis overseen by the current government is front and centre. Fernández has also doubled down on his recent statement about “Leliqs,” a liquidity note issued by the Central Bank, saying that funds used to pay its 61 percent interest rate could be used to “reconstruct the country.”
The former president did her part for the campaign by holding a massive rally over the weekend in Malvinas Argentinas to a crowd of 13,000 people. Appearing for the first time in 11 years alongside her former Cabinet chief and Buenos Aires Province national deputy candidate Sergio Massa, the former president took direct aim at President Mauricio Macri and Buenos Aires Governor María Eugenia Vidal for their management of the country’s economy.
“When Macri arrived to the government and Vidal to the governorship, Argentines and los bonaerenses (province residents) were on the ground. Business owners were in their businesses, merchants in their shops, children went to school to study, not to eat, scientists were in CONICET,” Fernández de Kirchner said of the country at the end of her tenure.
For Macri and his team, the state of the economy is an issue seldom mentioned. The government’s campaign is instead focusing on motivating voters in the country’s dense urban areas and minimising any potential mistakes.
“These are AirBnb elections, temporary,” one consultant for the campaign told Perfil this weekend. “Whoever makes a mistake will win less. Of course if there’s stability in the dollar, consumption is reactivated and inflation continues to descend, but it’s key not to make a mistake, as Kirchernism has shown in recent days.”
Yet that economic well-wishing did not arrive Monday, as trade tensions between the United States and China resulted in a devaluation in the Chinese yuan and a plummet for international stock prices. By Monday afternoon, the peso’s exchange rate against the US dollar had risen to a selling rate of US$46.547, a 1.4 percent increase since Friday.
In the coming week, Macri will hold an event on Tuesday with Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, and another with Vidal on Thursday. On the Frente de Todos side, after months of not appearing together in public, Fernández and Fernández de Kirchner will hold an event together in Rosario on Thursday.