Wednesday, September 22, 2021
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ARGENTINA | 15-09-2021 17:28

Ministers offer to quit as Argentina's ruling coalition flounders

At least five Cabinet ministers and other senior officials in President Alberto Fernández's government offer to step down in wake of PASO primaries.

At least five Cabinet ministers and other senior officials in President Alberto Fernández's government offered to step down Wednesday after a poor showing for the ruling Frente de Todos coalition in weekend primary elections.

The ministers of the interior, justice, science, environment and culture offered their resignations to the Peronist leader, who had said after Sunday's vote that "we must have done something not right."

The ruling coalition garnered less than 31 percent of the vote ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for November 14 to renew half the seats in the lower house Chamber of Deputies and a third of those in the Senate.

The alliance has a majority in the Senate and had been hoping to achieve the same in the lower house.

Sunday's vote was to pick candidates for the November elections, but it is also considered a barometer of people's voting intentions.

The centre-right coalition Juntos, established by ex-president Mauricio Macri, obtained 40 percent of the votes cast nationwide on Sunday. It critically made great strides in Buenos Aires Province, the country's largest electoral district and Peronist bastion.

Fernández took power from the incumbent Macri in 2019.

Public discontent with his government has been growing in a country in recession since 2018 and a GDP drop of 9.9 percent last year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Argentina has one of the world's highest inflation rates, at 29 percent from January to July this year, and a poverty rate of 42 percent.

– TIMES/AFP

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