Mauricio Macri, incumbent mayor of Buenos Aires since 2007, was re-elected yesterday by a nearly two-to-one margin over challenger Senator Daniel Filmus. The election, which had entered a run-off last month after no candidate won an outright majority on July 10, ended with Macri claiming 64.3 percent of votes and Filmus the remaining 35.7 percent.
Filmus was President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s hand-picked candidate from her Frente para la Victoria (Front for Victory—FPV), which controls both the presidency and a combined 118 seats in the 329-seat bicameral Argentina National Congress. Although Macri enjoys widespread popularity as mayor, his Propuesta Republicana (Republican Proposal—PRO) alliance holds only 11 seats in the national congress.
This election was viewed by observers as a bellwether for Argentina’s presidential race. Macri was considered a leading challenger to Fernández de Kirchner in the upcoming October election, but he declined to enter the race earlier this year in favor of seeking another mayoral term. Although Fernández de Kirchner currently leads in the polls, a first-round victory—which requires at least 40 percent of the vote—is not a foregone conclusion. Macri’s endorsement is widely sought after among all potential candidates and he has pledged to speak with each of them prior to deciding who to back.