Argentine President Mauricio Macri’s reform agenda received a critical boost on Sunday after his Cambiemos alliance gained ground in congressional mid-term elections. Preliminary results showed Cambiemos is set to win Argentina’s five largest electoral districts, including the key battleground of Buenos Aires province where his ally Esteban Bullrich defeated ex-President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, a fierce critic. With 99 percent of votes counted, Bullrich was on 41 percent with 37 percent for Fernandez, according to the National Electoral Directorate. At a national level, Cambiemos won in 12 out of 24 provinces and gained between 41 percent and 42 percent of the total vote, Cabinet Chief Marcos Pena said. “We are the generation that is changing history,” Macri told a crowd of supporters in Buenos Aires. “This is only just beginning.”
The result will mean gains for Macri in both houses of Congress, and likely strengthen his chances of passing an overhaul of tax and labor laws that he says are an impediment to economic growth.
“It’s almost an ideal situation because he’s got a nationwide victory at a level we haven’t seen for mid-term elections since 1985,” said Juan Cruz Diaz, managing director at the Cefeidas Group, a regulatory risk advisory firm based in Buenos Aires.