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Argentina

Yearbook 2015

Argentina. In the first round of the presidential election October 25, the candidate of the ruling party Daniel Scioli got the most votes, but the main opposition candidate Mauricio Macri, mayor of the capital Buenos Aires, came close. In the second round of voting on November 22, Macri managed to reverse the results, winning a tight victory with just over 51% of the vote against just under 49% for Scioli. The change of power was a fact. Macri did win only in eleven of Argentina's electoral districts against 14 for Scioli, but he won in the most populous except for the province of Buenos Aires, where Scioli has been governor for eight years. The election results were regarded as extremely important. It was the first time a center-right candidate won democratic elections in the country. It also ended the twelve-year reign of "kirchnerismo", the native name of the political dynasty Kirchner.

2015 Argentina

According to COUNTRYAAH, Macri promised sweeping economic reforms during the election campaign. But he was predicted to have few parliamentary difficulties since the opposition alliance Victory Front (FPV) is strong in both chambers of Congress. Macris partial alliance Change has only 91 of 257 seats in the House of Representatives, and in the Senate, FPV has its own majority with 42 out of 72 seats. Even regionally, the opposition has a strong position with half of the country's provincial governors, while Change has only five.

The election results should be viewed in the light of growing dissatisfaction with President Kirchner, especially in the economic field. On June 9, the union central organization CGT succeeded in virtually crippling the country's all major cities in a general strike in protest of the government's economic policy. Growth has been almost non-existent, productivity and creditworthiness are low, and both trade and budget deficits are large. The new Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay, former Governor of the Central Bank, will be given a difficult task.

For Kirchner's opinion figures, the case of Alberto Nisman was devastating. He was a special prosecutor in the case of the 1994 bomb attack on a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, when 85 people were killed and hundreds injured. The incident was never properly investigated but Iran was designated as involved in the act. In January, Nisman returned to Argentina with extensive documentation purporting to show that the Argentine government was trying to darken the circumstances of the attack with the aim of establishing favorable trade agreements with Iran. Shortly after his arrival in Argentina, the day before he was to present his report to the congress behind closed doors, Nisman was found dead. Everything suggested suicide, but public opinion was skeptical and made suspicions of the already unpopular Kirchner. On February 18, public prosecutors, supported by several opposition leaders, organized a "march of silence" as a tribute to Nisman. Later that month, however, a federal court dismissed the allegations of darkening the affair and President Kirchner's involvement in such a case.

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