From Democracy Digest
The October 27 elections returned the Peronist Party to power in Argentina. Peronist candidate Alberto Fernández won the presidency with 48 percent of the vote, the party retained a majority in the Senate, and it took back the governorship in the province of Buenos Aires, notes Latin America expert Patricio Provitina, a Program Officer at the National Endowment for Democracy. As a candidate, Fernández successfully rebranded and united a fractured party by promising to fix the economy, address pressing social issues, and respect democratic institutions. The candidate also appealed to young progressive voters, pledging to legalize abortion and address gender rights issues, he writes for Global Americans:
But while Fernández was able to win the election, the results reflect a highly polarized electorate, with both sides having starkly different visions for the future of the country. The fragmentation of power combined with Argentina’s uncertain economic future will likely force the Peronist party to take a more moderate stance in future policy decisions—a contrast with prior governments that encroached on democratic institutions and ignored the separation of powers. …… For the first time since 1928, a non-Peronist president finished a full term in office and managed to turn his party into a credible political opponent. As a result, Alberto Fernández and his Peronist colleagues will have to learn to moderate their rhetoric and negotiate solutions in an increasingly challenging socio-political environment.
While the outgoing President failed to resolve Argentina’s economic woes, Provitina adds, perhaps Macri’s greatest accomplishment will be establishing a political alternative that indirectly democratized Peronism. RTWT
Patricio Provitina is a Program Officer at the National Endowment for Democracy. Follow him on Twitter @pprovitina.