Alberto Fernandez’s coalition loses control of the Argentine parliament

Based on almost 98% of the votes counted, the ruling Frente de Todos coalition would drop from 41 to 35 senators (out of 72). However, it is expected to remain the largest group in both chambers. 

The centre-left coalition of Argentine President Alberto Fernandez lost control of both houses of parliament in Sunday’s parliamentary by-elections, according to a source close to the government based on projections with nearly 98 percent of votes counted. «If the figures are confirmed, the majority is lost in the Senate,» the source told AFP.

Alberto Fernandez’s «Frente de Todos» («Front of All») coalition already lacked a majority in the Chamber of Deputies. In the Senate, according to projections, the ruling Peronist coalition would fall from 41 senators (out of a total of 72) to 35.

The head of state since 2019, who has two years left in office, in a speech in the form of an admission of defeat announced a «new stage» of government, and called for «a fruitful relationship with the parliament». He indicated that he would approach other political forces with a view to an «agreement on a programme that is as shared as possible» with «a responsible opposition, open to dialogue and patriotic».

A reduced margin

According to the projections and pending final figures, the Peronist coalition, although in a minority, is expected to remain the largest group in both chambers. But it is losing ground on the centre-right coalition «Juntos por el Cambio» (Together for Change) of former president (2015-2019) Mauricio Macri.

According to several political analysts, the minority government of Alberto Fernandez will see its room for manoeuvre greatly reduced until the 2023 presidential election. It will be reduced to engaging only in consensual policies, forging ad hoc alliances with independents or micro-parties, or even resorting to decrees.

Renewed growth

Alberto Fernandez said on Sunday that he was keeping «the necessary firmness to defend the interests of our country» with a view to a «viable agreement» with the IMF, to which Argentina must repay more than 19 billion dollars from 2022, out of a 44 billion dollar loan granted under President Macri. «We need to remove the uncertainties associated with unsustainable debts like this one,» he said.