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Learn about the contenders and what they stand to gain in this crucial race.

Argentina’s Presidential Election: Candidates, Stakes, and Voting Process

The Candidates and the Stakes

In Argentina’s upcoming presidential election on October 22, three main candidates are vying for the top position. They include Javier Milei, a fiery libertarian economist from La Libertad Avanza (LLA); Sergio Massa, the economy minister representing the ruling Union por la Patria (UP) coalition; and Patricia Bullrich, a former security minister from the center-right Juntos por el Cambio(JxC) coalition. Dissident Peronist Juan Schiaretti and Myriam Bregman from the leftist Frente de Izquierda coalition are also on the ballot, albeit with lower support.

Argentina’s election takes place amidst economic uncertainty and a deepening crisis. The incoming government will face the daunting task of reviving an economy grappling with triple-digit inflation, negative net foreign exchange reserves, and a currency that has lost 44% of its value since the August primaries. Additionally, the government will need to adhere to the conditions laid out by the International Monetary Fund, following a $44 billion loan.

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Milei, who garnered the most votes in the August primaries, proposes radical political and economic restructuring, including dollarizing the economy, eliminating the central bank, and reducing the state’s role. On the other hand, Massa, a moderate Peronist, signifies a significant shift within the prevailing political force. Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, a powerful center-left figure, has taken a backseat in these elections due to corruption charges.

When and Where to Vote

Voting centers will open at 8 a.m. local time (1100 GMT) and close at 6 p.m. on October 22. The preliminary results will not be published until 9 p.m. local time due to legal restrictions. Voting is mandatory for citizens aged 18 to 70, while those aged 16 and 17, as well as individuals over 70, have the option to vote. Approximately 35.4 million people, including Argentines living abroad, are registered to vote.

To win in the first round, a candidate must secure over 45% of the votes or obtain more than 40% with a lead of at least 10% over the second-place candidate. If no candidate reaches this threshold, the top two contenders will proceed to a runoff on November 19.

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Positions Up for Election

In addition to choosing the new president and vice president, Argentine voters will elect 130 lower house representatives from all 23 provinces and one autonomous city, as well as 24 national senators representing eight provinces. The Argentine Congress comprises a Lower House of 257 representatives and an Upper House of 72 representatives.

Projections and Uncertainty

Recent polls suggest a probable runoff between Milei and Massa, with Bullrich’s redirected votes playing a crucial role. However, it’s important to note that Argentina’s pollsters have previously failed to accurately predict election results. In the 2019 presidential elections and recent primaries, analysts often placed Milei in third place, highlighting the unpredictability of the political landscape.


Argentina’s presidential election presents a critical juncture for the nation’s future. The chosen leader will face the daunting challenge of steering the economy out of crisis and implementing measures to improve the lives of millions of Argentines affected by inflation and poverty. The outcome of the election will determine the path Argentina takes in the coming years, with significant implications for both domestic and international arenas.

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