Argentina’s far right and far left make big gains in congressional elections

Ruling Peronist party lost majority as Javier Milei turned notoriety into votes and a Trotskyist party gothird largest vote share

By Uki Goñi

Argentina’s political system is braced for an earthquake after parties on the extreme left and right made big gains in weekend midterm congressional elections, putting an end to decades in which the country’s populists and conservatives wrestled for power.

Sunday’s vote saw the Peronist Front for Everyone coalition of President Alberto Fernández lose its majority in Congress for the first time in almost 40 years and lose its stronghold of Buenos Aires province to the center-right coalition Together for Change.

Nationally, the Trotskyist Leftist Worker Front (FIT) won the third largest share of the votes, but it was the sudden rise of the far-right libertarian Liberty Advances party that dominated local coverage of the results.

The party’s wild-haired leader, Javier Milei, has refused to be vaccinated against Covid, denies climate change is real, and describes himself as a “lion”.

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