Argentina’s electoral calendar for 2019 is packed with votes at the provincial and national level. On March 10, the province of Neuquén, home to the shale gas region known as Vaca Muerta, was the first to elect a governor: incumbent Omar Gutiérrez beat both the candidate from the president’s party and the kirchnerista in the race. Like Neuquén, a majority of the 23 provinces decided to separate their local votes from the presidential electoral calendar in 2019, the most to do so since the 2011 elections. A few have local electoral laws that mandate their vote take place separately from the August 11 national primaries and October 27 general elections, but others are calculating that their local races will be better off not riding on the momentum of the presidential race.
While the presidential contenders won’t be officially defined until June 24, polls are projecting a runoff between President Mauricio Macri and former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, both of whom have high unfavorable ratings in early 2019 polls.
Whether Macri wins reelection or not, his first four years in office are set to mark a historic moment as the first non-Peronist president to complete a full term since 1928. This electoral year will mark other milestones, including scheduled presidential debates that oblige candidates to participate, thanks to a 2016 reform to the National Electoral Code. This will also be the first time since 1994 that the city of Buenos Aires votes for mayor on the same day as the national general elections.
Keep track of the electoral dates with AS/COA Online’s timeline.