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What is the opposition to Milei today in Argentina?

There are several opposing forces: Kirchnerism; non-Kirchnerist Peronism; the small traditional left-wing force; and the Radical Party, which became the main opposition party when the coalition was dismantled by Macrismo.

The radicalism, which currently has a strong legislative and territorial presence, was part of the coalition Together for Change, which from its beginnings in 2015 confronted Kirchnerism forcefully. The coalition, however, imploded when Macrismo aligned with Milei before the ballot and ended up providing the necessary support for the victory of the libertarian.

The Radical Civic Union, which maintains clear differences with the economic measures, the excessive public expenditure, and the polarizing political style of Kirchner, at the same time opposes the economic policies of Liberty Advances, which tend to reduce the state and the polarizing style of Milei.

Patricia Bullrich, on the other hand, who was the candidate of PRO pro-Macri, also competed only five months ago with Milei in the last elections when she was the candidate of Together for Change. Both confronted each other at times with unusual verbal violence, but today, together with the rest of the leadership (except for the former leader of the soft wing, Rodríguez Larreta), the PRO is aligned with Milei and the former candidate is currently part of the government cabinet. The PRO, almost entirety, follows all the measures of the new president with whom it has established an explicit parliamentary and implicit governmental alliance.

What happens with Kirchnerism?

On the other hand, Kirchnerism, now renamed Union for the Fatherland, remains in a crouching position (at times with destitute demonstrations toward Milei) after its terrible four-year government, which ended up leaving the accounts absolutely in red and a burst social structure. Kirchnerism does not have an absolute majority in any of the legislative chambers, although it has 99 national deputies out of a total of 257 and 33 senators out of a total of 72. The Union for the Fatherland still seems to maintain considerable support which is around a quarter of the electoral roll. Yet, it suffers from a significant disapproval after its recent disastrous management.

Meanwhile, in the last months, a self-proclaimed republican and federal Peronism has started to take shape in opposition to the Kirchner-style Peronism. Such Peronism is currently led on the one hand by Miguel Ángel Pichetto — a staunch supporter of Cristiana in the Kirchnerist era from 2003 to 2015 but who in 2019 was the vice presidential candidate of the anti-Kirchnerist Mauricio Macri —, on the other hand, by the former governor of the province of Córdoba, Juan Schiaretti, and by the current governor of Córdoba, Martin Llaryora. Thus, a new anti-Kirchnerist Peronism emerged and gained strength, which recently gathered in an inter-bloc in the Chamber of Deputies together with the Civic Coalition, the other party that was part of the former Together for Change.

Another opposition bloc is the Workers’ Left Front, which has few legislators and mayors and no governor. However, it has a presence in the streets, with demonstrations with low attendance in the face of the adjustment measures of the new government. Thus, for the moment, the left cannot challenge the popularity of Milei, who continues to maintain a highly positive image before public opinion. Although the libertarian leader continues to raise tariffs, eliminate subsidies, and considerably impoverish the middle and lower sectors and retirees, he continues to confront — mainly through social networks — openly and hostilely those considered responsible for the serious economic and social crisis that led us to the current situation of unchecked inflation. He confronts and holds responsible for the crisis the political leadership that legislated and governed for decades and the trade union leadership that led and still leads the unions for decades.

In short, the ruling party today is made up of Liberty Advances and the PRO, which is almost completely aligned with Milei. Against it, there are several opposing forces: Kirchnerism; a non-Kirchnerist Peronism that adds followers; the small force of the traditional left; and the Radical Party that when the coalition was dismantled by Macrismo, became the main opposition with an important legislative and territorial presence, confronting both Kirchnerist left-wing populism and Milei’s right-wing populism.

*Translated by Janaína Ruviaro da Silva from the original in Spanish.

Autor

Otros artículos del autor

Politóloga y profesora de la Universidad de Buenos Aires. Magíster en Historia Económica por la misma universidad. Columnista en Perfil, La Nación, La Ribera Multimedio, Observatorio de Seguridad, Economía y Política Iberoamericana, entre otros.

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