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Argentina opposition set to defeat Macri after big primary upset

13 August 2019

Argentine bonds fell in London trading and further volatility loomed on Monday after voters soundly rejected President Mauricio Macri's austere economic policies in primary elections, casting doubt on his chances of re-election in October. The vote, however, is an opportunity to poll voters and determine potential front-runners in the future race.

The results are poised to trigger a market sell-off on Monday as investors come to terms with the possibility that the market-friendly policies adopted by Macri during the past four years may be replaced by the type of interventionist measures that were common place under former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Alberto Fernández's running-mate.

With 87 percent of polling station results counted, Fernandez had polled 47.5 per cent with Macri on a little more than 32 percent and centrist former finance minister Roberto Lavagna a distant third on just 8.3 percent.

Argentina's President Mauricio Macri looks on during a news conference after the presidential primaries, in Buenos Aires, Argentina August 12, 2019.

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To be elected president in the first round, candidates need to finish with at least 45% of the votes or have 40% and a greater than 10-point advantage over the nearest rival.

"Recognizing that we have had a bad election, that forces us, starting tomorrow, to redouble our efforts so that in October we will get the support that is needed to continue the change", Macri said. "We always fix the problems that others create".

"This gives us the responsibility that we have to reach everyone to give them absolute peace of mind". We know the commitment we are making with it, and the reality is that Argentina finally heard our message, he noted. Voting is obligatory in Argentina.

However, she is embroiled in a dozen corruption investigations, the first of which has already gone to trial, and is a controversial figure.

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"The primaries' result is almost impossible to reverse in October".

Macri's election in 2015 marked the first time in a more than a decade that Argentina's centre-right opposition had unseated the centre-left Peronist movement to which Cristina Fernandez belongs.

Poverty now affects 32 per cent of the population. The Argentine Peso is among the world's worst-performing currencies this year.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move.

But the Buenos Aires stock exchange shot up eight per cent on Friday amid expectation that Macri would do well in Sunday's vote.

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Argentina opposition set to defeat Macri after big primary upset