Macri refuses to throw in towel after Argentine primary drubbing, currency's plunge

13 Août, 2019, 18:23 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau

Argentina's peso currency crashed Monday, closing 15,27 percent weaker at 53.5 per USA dollar after slumping some 30 percent to a record low of 65 to a dollar earlier in the day after Argentinian President Mauricio Macri suffered a loss in a primary election, Reuters reported, Trend reports citing Sputnik.

On Sunday, center-right Macri was dealt a huge blow in his bid for re-election in October when he polled 15 points less than center-left candidate Fernandez.

There could be an even stronger degree of market volatility if final results show that Fernandez has enough support to clinch the presidency in October's first round, analysts said. Fernandez's lead far exceeded the margin of 2% to 8% suggested by recent opinion polls.

"For those who didn't vote for me, I promise to work hard so they understand me", said Fernandez to thousands of cheering supporters in Buenos Aires. "We can not go back to the past because the world sees this as the end of Argentina. We always fix the problems that others create".

In order to win the presidency outright, a candidate needs at least 45 percent of the vote or 40 percent and a difference of 10 percentage points over the second-place runner.

Macri faces the unenviable prospect of having to somehow find three times as many.

The primary elections to select presidential candidates occurred two months ahead of the first round of the general elections scheduled for October 27.

"We can not go back to the past because the world sees this as the end of Argentina", said Macri.

"This is just a taste of what's going to happen" if the Peronist Fernandez, whose running mate is corruption-tainted former president Cristina Kirchner, comes to office, Macri warned.

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Argentina's peso currency collapsed on Monday and inflation was expected to rise as voters flirted with a return to interventionist economics by snubbing market-friendly Macri for the opposition in a primary vote on Sunday.

However, she is embroiled in a dozen corruption investigations, the first of which has already gone to trial, and is a controversial figure.

Adriana Lucheti, 60, who works in sanitation, said she had voted for Macri "so we can keep changing the 12 years of destruction from the previous governments that stole everything".

Kirchner's eight-year reign followed her late husband Nestor's single term as president.

Argentina is now in a recession and posted 22 per cent inflation for the first half of the year - one of the highest rates in the world.

Macri initiated a painful austerity program that is widely unpopular with many Argentines, with some 35% now living below the poverty line.

The peso lost half its value against the dollar previous year.

Meanwhile, the Buenos Aires stock exchange tumbled by nearly 38 percent on Monday as markets reacted following Mauricio Macri's defeat in the party primaries over the weekend, AP reported.

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