The elected president of Argentina, the ultraliberal Javier Mileiwill be forced to negotiate with allied and opposition legislators if he intends to advance with controversial reforms such as the privatization of public companies or the dollarization of the economynot having a majority in Congress.
In the context of a serious financial crisis, Milei achieved 55.7% of the votes on Sunday compared to 44.3% for the ruling Peronist Sergio Massaalthough the formation of the new Parliament had been decided in the first round of elections in October, when the libertarian leader obtained only 30% of the votes.
With annual inflation of 143% and poverty of 40%, the ultra-liberal economist promised drastic reforms by highlighting in his speech after the electoral victory that “There is no room for half measures.”
But the libertarian impulse could collide with Congress, which is responsible for approving possible reforms to lower taxes or changes in the pension system such as those proposed by Milei.
“The Milei Government is going to rely on its political allies first and foremost and will surely have dialogue with the entire leadership to be able to govern, because you cannot govern without legislative autonomy”explained analyst Federico Aurelio, president of the consulting firm Aresco.
La Libertad Avanza, Milei’s party, will have only 38 deputies in a chamber of 257 members, while its senators will be 7 out of a total of 72. The ultra-liberal economist does not have governors from his party either.
For this reason, the alliance – until now informal – that Milei closed before the runoff with the former president Mauricio Macri and former candidate Patricia Bullrich, both from the conservative coalition Together for Change, appear key to guaranteeing governability.
“They are negotiating”said a source from Together for Change about the chances of leaders from that space joining the Government Cabinet that will take office on December 10.
In any case, Together for Change will have 94 deputies, insufficient to achieve a majority in the lower house – where the defeated Peronist coalition will have 108 legislators – so the new president will need broader agreements.
In the Senate, the situation will be repeated: Together for Change has 21 legislators compared to the 33 of Peronism until now in power.
On the other hand, Together for Change shows signs of disintegration after the elections and many of its legislators are unlikely to give open support to Milei, who also promised to reform public health and education and criticized legal abortion.
“Evidently he is going to have to make many agreements with Peronist, right-wing governors, with mayors. He has only three mayors (mayors) from towns with less than 2,000 inhabitants. “It’s quite a challenge.”highlighted analyst Mariel Fornoni, director of the consulting firm Management & Fit.
In a critical financial situation, the future president will have to deal with the empty coffers of the central bank and a debt contracted in 2018 with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a US$44 billion program.
However, not all of the outlook is dark: experts expect a multi-million dollar income next year due to a good grain harvest in a country that is one of the largest agricultural powers in the world, and an improvement in the energy balance.
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