How Argentina's October elections could help the economy

Video transcript of Dr Joseph S. Tulchin talks with Dr Alberto Fohrig

Dr Tulchin:

We are talking today with Dr Alberto Fohrig, Professor of political science at San Andres University in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We spoke with him a few months ago about the Argentine presidential elections which are to be held in October the end of 2015. So, we are back talking to Professor Fohrig. Let’s talk a bit about the presidential elections. Who are the principle candidates, and what are their political parties and central tendencies?

Dr Fohrig:

There are three main candidates now ahead in the polls. They are pretty much tied even though there are initial signs that there will be some sort of polarisation between two of them. The three candidates are Sergio Massa, from a party called Renewal Front (FR), a faction of the Peronist party; the second is Daniel Scioli, the Governor of the Province of Buenos Aires, the main province in Argentina, who was vice president of President Kirchner, who is the main official candidate representing the government; the third candidate is the mayor of Buenos Aires, called Mauricio Macri, who is presently ahead in the polls but you know, six months in advance you never know who is going to win.

The fact is that the three of them are the main contenders and they represent clearly a shift in idealogical terms from what has been the main line of strategy pursued by the President Cristina Kirchner.

Dr Tulchin:

Do you consider that Scioli, the Governor of Buenos Aires Province, is the continuation of Ms Kirchner’s movement or is he more moderate than she is?

Dr Fohrig:

He is clearly more moderate. He is more leaning towards centre right politics, where as the President Cristina Kirchner is leaning to centre left politics - even though they live together under the same roof in the Peronist party. So, what we will probably see if he wins is a significant shift from populist left wing politics towards populist right wing politics.

Dr Tulchin:

Okay and in economic terms, in terms of economic policy what does that shift mean, for example, for investors or for the international market? What kinds of change can we anticipate?

Dr Fohrig:

I would anticipate that the three of them embody a market friendly approach, in which foreign investors are probably going to be able to make significant investments in Argentina, particularly those linked to productive projects. All of them have indicated that they are looking for foreign investment, to pursue actively foreign investment for the Argentine economy, so we will probably see significant shift in economic policy over the next 10 years.

Dr Tulchin:

So, you think that it will mean officially recognising the level of inflation, change in exchange rate laws, and then perhaps settlement with the bond holdouts that is causing so much difficulty for Argentina?

Dr Fohrig:

The three aspects that you mention, well, I agree with the three of them.

Dr Tulchin:

Thank you very much. We have been talking to Professor Alberto Fohrig, at the university of San Andres, Buenos Aires. We will come back and visit again. Alberto thank you for your time.

Dr Fohrig:

Thank you Joe.

(photo credit: dpa)

  • The presidential election to be held in October 2015 will mark the end of the 'Kirchner era'.
  • The new administration will take office in December 2015.
  • President Cristina Kirchner's second term ends this year, and she is unable to stand for re-election.
  • The Kirchner era began in 2003 when Ms Kirchner's predecessor and late husband Nestor Kirchner became president.
  • The three candidates now likely to contest for the presidency are: Province of Buenos Aires Governor, Daniel Scioli (a Peronist); Sergio Massa (also a Peronist); and City of Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri (the sole non-Peronist candidate in the running).
  • The election is seen as having the potential to usher in a brighter future for the country despite the problems besetting Argentina's economy.