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  • Former President Cristina Fernandez Kirchner waves to supporters in Buenos Aires, Argentina May 9, 2019.

    Former President Cristina Fernandez Kirchner waves to supporters in Buenos Aires, Argentina May 9, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 16 May 2019

Argentines are turning away from President Mauricio Macri and other right-wing candidates as the economic crisis increases unemployment and inflation rates.

Studies carried out by different political polling companies say Argentina's former President Cristina Fernandez Kirchner (CFK) would win the presidential elections set to be held in October.

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According to Opinion Argentina (OA), which conducted a nationwide survey with a sample of 1,200 cases, CFK has at least 34 percent of support during the first round of the popular vote while current President Mauricio Macri would get only 30 percent of the vote, according to the survey. The gap among both candidates increases in the second round with CFK garnering 44 percent of the votes and Macri 39 points.

The OA also found that given different economic scenarios in which the current crisis gets better or deepens, Fernandez Kirchner would still win over Macri's 33 percent core support. 

Argentina's out-of-control inflation rate hit 54.7 percent in March, its highest since 1991. Unemployment also reached a peak following the layoffs of over 73,000 jobs between December 2015, when Macri took office, and July 2018.

The value of the Argentine peso also shrank by 50 percent last year due to the administration's selling off of pesos and dollar reserves while raising its own interest rates to as much as 74 percent on billions of dollars in short-term government bonds.

According to the data, the Argentine right does not have the leverage to maintain the Pink House that the current presiden's image keeps declining.

"New poll brought about a lot of concern at the Argentine Presidency Palace (Casa Rosada) ... Cristina would beat Macri by nine points at the ballots. The Management & Fit numbers coincide with the Isonomia survey, which was carried out a couple of weeks ago."

Argentina Today also says Macri would lose in the second round.

"President Macri would lose to any candidate in the second round," says the organization and reported CFK has 45.9 percent of potential votes, compared to 42.8 percent for Mauricio Macri.

The most likely results of the Argentine presidential elections has raised fears among the right-wing national and international elites. Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, who met Wednesday former U.S. President George Bush in Dallas, Texas spoke about the importance of "avoiding" the return of Cristina Fernandez to the presidency.

"We talked to Bush about the situation in Venezuela.-However, more important than scoring a goal is to avoid another. And a goal against Argentina would be the return (of the presidency) to Kirchner," Bolsonaro said, adding "we would like Argentina not to return to this ideology."

Nevertheless, Roberto Cardarelli, a member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission visiting Argentina, expressed a less alarmist opinion.

"We fear nothing," said Cardarelli when asked if there is any fear of a CFK triumph in the next presidential elections.


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