Argentina Presidential Elections 2023: Economy Minister Sergio Massa forces second round in surprising comeback

By October 22, 2023

Buenos Aires, Argentina — Sergio Massa, national minister of Economy, made a surprising comeback to lead the presidential election with around 36% of the votes on October 22 after receiving 27% in the primaries two months earlier. He will now face libertarian candidate Javier Milei, who received around 30%, in the second round on November 19. 

After performing below expectations in the August primaries, the ruling coalition Unión por la Patria improved its election with over 3 million more votes. Despite dealing with a historical inflation and an unstable economy, Massa managed to revert the previous result by improving his election in the interior of the country.  

“I know that many of those who voted for us are the ones who are suffering the most,” said the minister during his election speech. “I’m not going to fail you. Please know that as president since December 10, I will not fail you.” 

He also indirectly criticized the far-right proposals of his main rival party, the Libertarian La Libertad Avanza. “My commitment is to build a country in which we undoubtedly have the ability for our children to choose to go to school with a computer in their backpack and not with a gun in their backpack,” he closed. 

Javier Milei, the Libertarian who surprisingly led the primaries with 7.1 million votes, now received 7.7 million votes, securing a second spot and a place in the final round but doing worse than polls predicted. 

“Today we face the most important election of the last 100 years. An election that will determine if we want to continue with this model that Kirchnerism [sector of the ruling coalition] defends or if we want to once again embrace the ideas of freedom that are what made Argentina great in the 19th century,” said the Libertarian during his speech at the end of election day. “Either we change or we sink,” he concluded.

Patricia Bullrich, the candidate from the right-wing main opposition party Juntos por el Cambio, received around 23% of the votes and was left out of the final competition by securing the third place.

Her votes, along with the ones received by minor candidates as Juan Schiaretti (6.5%) and leftist Myriam Bregman (2.6%) will be the ones coveted by Massa and Milei prior to the final election on November 19.