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ARGENTINA | 22-04-2021 17:14

Government, opposition agree to delay PASO primaries by a month

Argentina’s opposition coalition has agreed with the national government to postpone the PASO primaries for a month, given the recent increase in Covid-19 infections.

Argentina’s main opposition coalition has agreed with the national government to postpone the PASO primaries and October midterms for a month, given the recent increase in Covid-19 infections.

The three parties that make up Juntos por el Cambio on Thursday agreed to the Alberto Fernández administration's proposal to postpone the vote, though they asked that no more modifications be made to the electoral schedule.

"From JxC [Juntos por el Cambio] we reaffirm our interest in contributing to the better management of the pandemic and, at the same time, respect the electoral norms in place with the guarantee of the primary elections that today are enshrined in the law," read a statement from the opposition grouping, saying the postponement would allow more time for preparation.

"That is why we will monitor the movement of the schedule and, in addition, we ask the ruling party include a clause that reaffirms the National Government's commitment to respecting current electoral legislation," it added, calling on the government to guarantee that elections would take place this year.

According to early reporting, the opposition coalition will push for a clause confirming no further delays will be made to be put in the bill modifying the electoral calendar.

It is understood that the PASOs will now take place on September 12, with the October midterms set for November 14.

The news will likely anger a number of Juntos por el Cambio's most vocal backbenchers, many of whom have said they were opposed to any changes. Some believe the decision could favour the ruling Frente de Todos coalition, as Argentina will hopefully have emerged out of its Covid-19 second wave by that point. 

However, government officials have become increasingly more confident that they have the votes to carry any postponement in Congress, with or without the opposition.

– TIMES/PERFIL

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