Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego provincial elections a bellwether for October presidential vote

Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego provincial elections a bellwether for October presidential vote

Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego province holds local elections today ahead of the country’s national vote in October. While both the

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Photo: Al Jazeera

Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego province holds local elections today ahead of the country’s national vote in October.

While both the provincial and federal governments determine energy policy, the Tierra del Fuego province only produces 2% of the country’s petrol and 8% of its natural gas.

Incumbent centrist Rosana Bertone is heavily favoured to be re-elected, although leftist Gustavo Melella could force a run-off vote. Both candidates are strong backers of former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Polls have already placed Fernandez ahead of current Argentinian President Mauricio Macri by seven points.  Fernandez will likely pin her election as vice-president on lowering food, fuel and utility prices and may even apply price controls on a wide range of essential goods to increase her popularity among the country’s poor.

Regardless of who wins, expect the Tierra del Fuego elections to further Fernandez’s re-election chances. If Fernandez is re-elected, expect the profits of retail, energy and utility firms to be hindered by price controls.

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