CFK poised for landslide victory and control of the congress on Sunday
Argentine president Cristina Fernandez (CFK) should be comfortably re-elected Sunday with a landslide victory which according to the latest public opinion polls indicate a support ranging from 52% to 55%
If so Cristina Fernandez not only will avoid a run off, most probably recapture control of both Houses but will have been the third most voted president in Argentine history behind Hipolito Yrigoyen in 1916 and Juan Doming Peron in 1946.
Boosted by a booming economy that has been roaring ahead since her deceased husband first took office in May 2003, a feeling of stability and an atomized opposition unable to agree on a basic platform, CFK is the undisputed candidate.
So much that on the day after, one of the issues her most militant followers have been considering is a constitutional review that would allow the indefinite re-election, now limited to two consecutive periods.
But the “Cristina forever” movement with support among some followers has two hurdles to overcome: if the President effectively likes the idea and in spite of congressional control, special majorities are needed for constitutional reform.
Besides in spite of a booming economy, the Argentine ‘development model’ has to manage with ballooning inflation (25% to 29% according to private estimates, which distorts labour contracts) and heavy subsidies to many public utilities services such as power, gas and transport.
On Sunday 28 million Argentines are registered to vote (mandatory) and will be electing besides President and Vice President for the next four years, half of the Lower House benches (130 in 257) and a third of the Senate (24 out of 72), and nine governors.
Thirteen governor elections have already taken place this year with the opposition conquering only two. Another two will elect governor in 2012 and 2013.
The best runner up according to opinion polls is Santa Fe governor Socialist Hermes Binner who has managed 15% of vote intention followed by former caretaker president Eduardo Duhalde and Social-democrat Ricardo Alfonsin with approximately 12% each.
CFK needs 45% of valid ballots or 40% plus a ten-point difference over the runner up to avoid a run-off and be sworn again as president on December 10.
On Sunday ballot stations will be opened from 08:00 in the morning to 18:00 in the evening. An hour later the first results will begin to be announced.
This year the Argentine electoral system inaugurated a new voting process which included mandatory and simultaneous primaries in all political parties, an event which took place last 14 August and can be taken as an anticipation of Sunday’s evolution.
In the primaries CFK garnered 50% of votes following by Ricardo Alfonsin with 12%, the same as Eduardo Duhalde with 12%.
However fourth placed Hermes Binner who received 10% of the vote has since climbed according to opinion polls and stands at 15%.
Buenos Aires City Mayor Conservative Mauricio Macri anticipated that it was “clear” that President Cristina Fernández would be re-elected, maintaining no doubts over vote counts at Sunday’s elections.
“Clearly the president will be Cristina” said Macri, while talking about who he thought was more likely to win on Sunday, reaffirming his statements from earlier in the month.
Macri was considered the most dangerous opponent by CFK’s election team, but he finally stepped down unable to convince the opposition on a unified front. However he is expected, and has anticipated, that his next elected post target after being mayor of Buenos Aires City, is to run for president in 2015.
Another four years and even a “Cristina forever” surprise round the corner