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Argentina: “No party can represent the evangelical churches”

Peronist Sergio Massa wins the first round of the Argentinian elections with a margin of less than 5% over the right-wing candidate Javier Milei.

FUENTES Protestante Digital AUTOR 5/Evangelical_Focus BUENOS AIRES 23 DE OCTUBRE DE 2023 20:40 h

Peronist candidate Sergio Massa, the former Minister of Economy in Alberto Fernández's government, has won the first round of the presidential elections in Argentina, but by a narrow margin.



 



Evangelical presence on electoral lists



Several evangelicals are on the electoral lists in these elections in Argentina.



Cynthia Hotton is on the Juntos por el cambio (Together for Change) list as head of the Social Council of the cabinet of the city of Buenos Aires, which also includes the Pentecostal pastor Gabriel Mraida.



A pastor in the city of Rosario, Walter Ghione, founder of the platform A New Opportunity, has also joined the party led by former security Minister Patricia Bullrich, who came third and will not go to the second round.



Nadia Márquez, who was elected as national deputy for Neuquén with over 35% of the vote, is a member of La Libertad Avanza (Freedom Advances), the right-wing coalition of the other presidential candidate, Javier Milei. Daughter of pastor Hugo Márquez, founder and leader of the Baptist Church Jesús is King, she is known for her positions in defence of life and the traditional family model, and has also been elected as executive secretary of the Ibero-American Union of Christian Parliamentarians (UIPC).



 



ACIERA: “No party can represent evangelical churches”.



Amid the rise in the participation of evangelicals in electoral lists, the Christian Alliance of Evangelical Churches of the Republic of Argentina (ACIERA) stated that “no political party can represent the evangelical churches, beyond the evangelicals who are part of it”.



“Although they are members of our faith communities, the fact is that they do not represent the evangelical church as a whole, nor can they claim to be so representative”, ACIERA stressed.



They also asked evangelical candidates “not to mix or confuse pastoral functions with a vocation for public affairs, being careful with the flock and respecting the freedoms and individual choices of believers”.



Moreover, they have promoted a day of prayer among Christian communities so that the population may exercise its right with “the necessary wisdom".






 



Tight result



On election day, 22 October, Massa obtained 36.68% of the votes, over 9.6 million ballots, and will compete for the presidency in a second round on 19 November against Javier Milei, who obtained 29.98% of the votes.



The turnout in this first round closed at 77.65%, 3.6% less than in the 2019 elections.



 



A time to win voters



Both Massa and Milei will have to work in the coming weeks to attract the votes of voters who have chosen other lists that have already been left out, especially that of Juntos por el Cambio, of former Security Minister Patricia Bullrich, which was the choice of 23.83% of voters.



In his first comments after the election, Milei has already reached out to Bullrich's supporters. “Beyond our differences, we have to understand that we have Kirchnerism in front of us”, he said.



Meanwhile, Massa has announced that he will call for “a government of national unity on the basis of summoning the best”.



The pro-government candidate is expected to add the more than 700,000 votes (2.7%) obtained by Myriam Bregman's Left and Workers' Front for the second round, while Milei could add the majority of the 1.7 million votes obtained by the governor of the province of Córdoba, Juan Schiaretti.



Regarding the new legislative composition, the Congress has been fragmented, with the loss of seats for the ruling party. Juntos por el Cambio has also lost seats in both chambers and has been greatly weakened, especially in the Senate.



La Libertad Avanza has made a strong entry into Congress, with blocs of eight senators and around 35 national deputies, and will be a key player in the negotiations.



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