Argentine voters changed the balance of power in that country’s Chamber of Deputies, and in its Senate, with this Sunday’s vote. Those bodies are the lower and the upper house, respectively, of the Argentine National Congress.
Going into the election the ruling Frente de Todos [Front of Everyone] coalition held 120 seats in the lower house, nine seats short of a majority. The second-largest coalition, the Juntos por el Cambio, [Together for Change] had 115 seats. This left a total of 22 seats filled by the eight smaller parties unaffiliated with either coalition.
In very broad terms, the Juntos por el Cambio is the center right; Frente de Todos is the center-left.
More specifically: Argentina defaulted on its bonds in December 2001, and it was effectively expelled for years from the international capital markets as a consequence. The resulting crisis had the effect of resetting the country’s politics. From that day to this, political factions can be effectively divided into those that hope to restore the capital markets’ confidence in Argentina, and those who prefer to tell the world’s capital markets to go take a flying leap. Those are what we have above called the right and the left, respectively.
The Thing to Know:
The elections strengthened the center-right (the Juntos por el Cambio) in both houses. This likely means a government that, over the next couple of years, will attend to the needs of those in the rest of the world who invest in its bonds.