Almost two million and a half Buenos Aires city residents will vote Sunday to elect a new Mayor and Deputy-Mayor for Argentina’s capital from a list of 15 hopefuls although current mayor Mauricio Macri and the central government coalition sponsored candidate Daniel Filmus are expected to re-edit the scenario of four years ago.
The election will help reorganize the political scenario ahead of the coming presidential election in October, although none of the presidential candidates of the opposition has a strong mayoral candidate.
All opinion polls until Friday when a ban on all political activity became effective, showed Conservative Macri as the winner but short of the 50% plus one ballot which means a run off July 31, most probably with Filmus, who is sponsored by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
According to opinion polls Macri has a vote intention ranging from 34% to 45.3%, while former Education minister and Senator Filmus support stands at between 27.8% and 35.2%.
In the 2007 election there was also a run off in which Macri caught 60.7% of the vote in the run off making him a potential adversary for President Cristina Fernandez in 2011. However with an extremely atomized and quarrelsome opposition and a booming economy Mrs. Kirchner seems certain winner, so Macri preferred to ensure his position in Buenos Aires City for another four years.
Another interesting candidate for mayor is Deputy Fernando ‘Pino’ Solanas who played a meritorious role in 2007 and polls have him with 5.6% to 12.7% vote intention. He is an acknowledged filmmaker and has a consistent support in Buenos Aires City. His national project surprised when he managed to have four lawmakers to represent his political grouping in Congress.
The campaign has been rather tepid, with no major discussion or proposals among the leading candidates thus breaking a record of fifteen years of television debates. The big issues of Buenos Aires city such security, hygiene, traffic and the notorious inequalities between the posh neighbourhoods to the north and the poor ones to the south have been absent from any real debate.
According to a public opinion poll by Equis, for 84.1% of Buenos Aires city residents, insecurity is the main problem and challenge for the city, followed by health, education and traffic.
Representing 8.6% of the country’s electoral registry, with 2.482.868 registered people to vote, Argentina’s capital is the third most important electoral district behind the Province of Buenos Aires (10.7 million) and Cordoba (2.5 million).
In total, 137 posts are to be defined by popular vote including the capital’s mayor and vice mayor, 60 lawmakers and 105 mayors (7 members for each of the 15 municipalities).