By Francisco Bastida for Foreign Policy in Focus. Buenos Aires City Mayor Mauricio Macri won November’s historic presidential runoff to usher Argentina into a new era as President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner departs from La Casa Rosada.
Macri, the Let’s Change coalition candidate, garnered 51 percent of the vote against 48 percent for Front for Victory candidate Daniel Scioli (who happened to be Kirchner’s chosen successor). During October’s first round of elections, pollsterspredicted that Scioli would win by a majority, with some expecting a 10-point lead finish.
“With your vote today, you made the impossible possible, what no one believed in,” the conservative, pro-business Macri told cheering supporters at his Buenos Aires headquarters.
People are already debating the success of the presidencies of Cristina and her late husband Néstor Kirchner, whose terms have been coined la década ganada (the “hard-won decade“). Their combined 12-year legacy will undoubtedly face further scrutiny in years to come — whether for their social spending on poverty and inequality, fiscal ebbs and flows during and after the commodities boom of the 2000s, or allegations of impunity and government corruption.