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Perfil

ARGENTINA | 26-09-2023 13:23

Javier Milei targets Argentina’s big cities in bid for first-round win

La Libertad Avanza presidential candidate shifts campaign focus to urban centres, targeting heavily populated areas of Buenos Aires Province, Córdoba and the nation’s capital; As presidential debate nears, Milei targets victory on October 22 and avoid a run-off.

There are no firm numbers on the table. The polls did not predict the libertarian phenomenon, but Javier Milei and his supporters feel that they can win the Presidency in the first round next month. The team is working with this in mind, with a focus on Argentina’s big urban centres. Moreover, the upcoming presidential debate is also in the spotlight.

In the coming weeks, the economist – who last Friday at Parque Norte called for increased electoral monitoring and to encourage greater voter turnout if he is to become the next head of state – will increase his hours on the road, meeting face-to-face with the people, in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Córdoba and in the nation’s capital, Buenos Aires City.

“We have to position ourselves well in those places if we want to win in the first round” of the election, a top La Libertad Avanza figure told Perfil.

A provincial leader, from a major locality, points out that the number of people who want to be polling-station scrutineers for the next election is on the rise. On social media there is a perception: that many of those who did not go out to vote in the PASO primaries, but who are angry with the economic situation and the government, will turn out on October 22. Meanwhile, others who bet on the opposition Juntos por el Cambio coalition could change their choice and will opt for La Libertad Avanza, as it represents the best option of a non-Peronist force making the run-off. 

Still, within La Libertad Avanza, they clarify that they do not have polls to back up these forecasts and that in the primaries, the results were better than expected: before August 13, party sources were talking of around 20 points, with a maximum of 25, and they were surprised to become the most voted-for force in the PASOs.

Another axis that will not be neglected in the front headed by the libertarian deputy is linked to territorial work. For this reason, over the past few weekends, tables with banners and flyers bearing the image of Milei and the relevant local candidates have been seen in the 15 communes of Buenos Aires City and across the Conurbano.

Milei has lined up visits to a host of different provinces, especially those he previously visited very little or did not visit at all, in which he obtained a surprising tally of votes, exceeding 40 percent. Last Saturday he went to Corrientes, a district in which he has worked closely since 2022 and in which Ramiro Marra, the libertarian candidate who aspires to be Buenos Aires City mayor, was involved.

As Ezequiel Romero, a reference of the force in the region, points out, the fundamental thing is to improve awareness of the so-called ‘libertarian lion,’ since “for many people he was unknown, especially among middle-aged and older people.” Milei will also be in Salta, on a date yet to be confirmed, party sources said.

In recent days, the libertarian leader’s technical teams have been busy finalising details and preparing for the verbal exchanges between the presidential candidates. The first national debate takes place on Sunday, October 1. Political consultant Santiago Caputo, will have an influence on proceedings. The national deputy will focus his attacks on ruling coalition candidate, Economy Minister Sergio Massa, and will take the opportunity to deepen the axes of his economic plan, taking his ideas nationwide as the election campaign heats up.

Juan Pablo Kavanagh

Juan Pablo Kavanagh

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