After their first encounter in Santiago del Estero last Sunday, Argentina’s five presidential candidates who cleared the PASO primary threshold will be holding their second and final debate tomorrow, just a fortnight to go before the general elections.
The time, place, speakers, issues to discuss and moderators are all known, defined in advance by the electoral court authorities – what remains to be seen and heard is how the political leaders perform.
This second debate will permit Javier Milei (La Libertad Avanza), Patricia Bullrich (Juntos por el Cambio), Sergio Massa (Unión por la Patria), Juan Schiaretti (Hacemos por Nuestro País) and Myriam Bregman (Frente de Izquierda) to carry on from where they left off last weekend, communicating their objectives and campaign strategies, but this time in the national capital.
The Law Faculty of Buenos Aires University (UBA) will set the scene for the exchange of ideas, which will follow a similar format to last Sunday’s debate. The obligatory issues assigned by the National Electoral Court will be security and labour and production while according to a new system of popular consultation, the citizenry have chosen as the third batch of issues human development, housing and environmental protection.
The debate will be transmitted live this Sunday as from 9pm and is expected to last two hours. The journalists selected to moderate the second presidential debate are Marcelo Bonelli (TN), Mariana Verón (Canal 9), Sergio Roulier (Canal 3 de Rosario) and Soledad Larghi (América), all picked by lot as organised by the National Electoral Court.
The debate will be broadcast by all the public media, including TV Pública, Radio Nacional (870 AM), Canal 12 and the YouTube channel of CNE. Any private channels who wish to transmit it may do so, always given that they have the mechanisms to comply with the access criteria such as sign language and subtitles.
Should no presidential candidate reach 45 percent of the votes in the general elections of October 22 or 40 percent with a difference of at least 10 percentage points over the runner-up, there will be a run-off. In that case there will be a third debate on November 12 (the Sunday before the run-off) at the same UBA venue.
Last weekend the five presidential debated three different segments – economy, education and human rights and democratic co-existence (the latter the choice of the citizenry – at the Forum Convention Centre in the city of Santiago del Estero.
This presidential debate totalled a rating of 47 points, 10 more than the last such debate in 2019, a surprising figure which was reflected in parallel in the social network and does not include high levels of audience connecting via streaming on the different platforms and live channels on the Internet.
Regarding the latter route, Google revealed via a communiqué published on its platform X what its users had been searching for.
Curiously enough, the two candidates with the least votes in the PASO primary drew the most searches – Schiaretti (almost 40 percent) and Bregman (20 percent). They were followed by Milei (18 percent), Bullrich (14 percent) and Massa (12 percent).