Argentinians go to the polls on Sunday to vote in mid-term Congressional elections. While President Mauricio Macri’s Cambiemos coalition isn’t expected to win a majority in the legislature, the election is seen as a test of the administration.
Voters will elect 127 members to the Chamber of Deputies and 24 Senators. Elections for the Chamber of Deputies are conducted through a closed-list proportional system. This means that Argentinians will cast votes for parties instead of individuals.
Senators are elected based on party as well. Each province has three senators in the upper chamber of Congress. All three senators are elected simultaneous, as opposed to the staggered election process that states in the United States elect their two senators by. The party that receives the most votes will get two seats in the Senate, while the party with the second most votes will get one seat.
The most watched election on Sunday will be for Senate in the province of Buenos Aires. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, president from 2007 to 2015, narrowly won the August primary. Fernández beat Esteban Bullrich, Macri’s former Minister of Education, by 0.21 percent with 33.95 percent of the vote.
Since the parties with the most and second most votes will gain representation in the Senate, Fernández’s party is expected to win at least one seat which will be occupied by the former president herself.
Fernández was indicted in December 2016 on corruption charges, including illicit association and fraudulent administration. As a Senator, she would have immunity from prosecution.
How well Bullrich and President Macri’s Cambiemos coalition preform will be seen by outside observers as a test of Macri’s first two years in office. All citizens of Argentina older than 16 can vote in Sunday’s election. Voting is compulsory for citizens between the ages of 18 and 70.
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