The headline news in Argentina after the primary elections (Paso) on 13 August was that President Mauricio Macri had won a key victory over his predecessor Cristina Fernández (2007-2015) in Buenos Aires, by far the country’s most populous province. The Paso might be little more than a trial run for the real thing in October but the result will give a huge impetus to Macri’s ruling centre-right Cambiemos coalition. The media and market fear (privately shared by the government) that disenchantment with economic growth not filtering through to the populace at large would provide rich pickings for Fernández was not realised. More important than the showdown in Buenos Aires for Argentine politics in the long-term, however, were the defeats inflicted by Cambiemos on governors, primarily but not exclusively under the banner of the Partido Justicialista (PJ, Peronists), running provinces as dynastic fiefdoms for decades.

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