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Why is the province of Cordoba important in determining the runoff in Argentina?

Why is the province of Cordoba important in determining the runoff in Argentina?

(CNN in Spanish) — Cordoba is the second most populous province in Argentina. The number of its voters is 3,065,088, which is equivalent to 8.66% of the country’s total voters, according to the Commission’s data. Ministry of Interior. But a few days before the runoff, all eyes are on her. Why?

The province was a major opponent of Kirchnerism, with former President Mauricio Macri receiving the largest percentage of votes, even when he lost the general elections in 2019, and where “outsider” Javier Miley now has the most votes, both in the primaries and in the first round.

In Cordoba, Javier Miley received 33.54% of the votes in the first electoral round. He is followed by outgoing Peronist governor Juan Chiarte, who received 29% without joining Kirchner’s coalition. The Together for Change (JxC) party, led by Patricia Bullrich, came in third place with 22.62%, and Sergio Massa, of the ruling Union for the Fatherland (UxP) party, received only 13.42%. It was the county with the lowest percentage of votes, according to provisional data in which 99.86% of tabulations were reported counted.

More than half of Cordoba’s population will not find the candidate they voted for in the first round in the runoff scheduled for November 19. Who will they choose then in the dark room that day?

Miley, now allied with Macri, will seek a large influx of votes from the Together for Change party, bearing in mind that Cordoba has always been a favored province for this space. In 2015, when Macri won the presidency in a runoff, he received 71.52% of the votes there, and although he lost re-election in the first round in 2019, in Cordoba he received more than 60% of the votes.

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Also in agreement with his new partner, who finished his two presidential campaigns in Cordoba, they confirm from the space of Maile that the liberal also plans to do the same in the capital of the province, but they did not give more details.

However, it remains to be seen whether Miley will finally be able to replicate the results that Macri has been able to achieve in the county. The elections that took place on October 22 were the worst in history for the “Together for Change” coalition, the coalition that makes up the Radical Civic Union (UCR), which has always been strong in the region and said it would not support any of the candidates in the elections. runoff, thus separating himself from Macri’s support for the libertarian. “The demagogic extremism of Javier Maile is the opposite of our thinking”; UCR wrote in a statement in which they added that they could never “have anything to do with your space.”

For which team will Chiaretti play?

The votes obtained by the governor of Cordoba and former candidate Juan “El Gringo” Chiaretti are many, more than 665 thousand votes, and it is a mystery to see how they are distributed. Cordoban Peronism, currently led by Chiarti, is not a follower of Kirchner. Since arriving as governor in 2007, he has maintained a distant relationship with then-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. A few months after his inauguration, conflict broke out between Kirchnerism and the countryside over taxes on agricultural exports, especially soybeans. Since Córdoba was a prominently agricultural province, both Chiaretti and his predecessor José Manuel de la Sota, despite being Peronists, supported the countryside, as did the opposition.

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This distance from Kirchnerism may be one of the reasons why Peronism continued to rule in Cordoba, when Mauricio Macri won at the national level in 2015. The same was true in 2019, when in that province Macri was the presidential candidate who received the most votes, Although he lost the election to Alberto Fernández, Chiaretti achieved re-election.

In the final phase of the run-off, Sergio Massa’s ruling party was present this week in Rio Cuarto, the second most populous city in the province, where it made several economic announcements and even rehearsed an apology for the long history of Kirchnerian disagreements. The candidate said: “Many times, Cordoba felt that the central authority turned its back on it, whatever its role. I apologize to the people of Cordoba.”

But Córdoba remains hostile to Massa, although he intends to return to the province in the coming days.

Although Chiaretti and his successor in the province, Martin Larriura, maintained a position of disengagement regarding the second round of elections, in recent days the governor of Cordoba and his wife, Senator Alejandro Figo, criticized the ministerial candidate, even when Massa was campaigning in the province. El Gringo spoke publicly about “the economic disaster caused by the Kirchner government led by Sergio Massa”, while Figo also criticized him in numerous posts on social networks. “Inexplicable. Kirchner’s candidate came to our province to apologize for the injustice done by his current government – yes, Minister of Economy and serving as its president – with Cordoba,” he noted on X, formerly Twitter.

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However, Massa had already received support from other politicians in the Chiarte region, such as Natalia de la Sota, the daughter of the popular former governor of Córdoba, and several mayors.

We will have to see how both candidates perform there in the coming days and what the people of Cordoba decide at the ballot box. What is certain is that this influx of votes will be decisive in determining who will be the next president of Argentina.