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Primary elections in Argentina are called PASO (which stands for Primarias Abiertas Simultáneas y Obligatorias, Spanish: Simultaneous and mandatory open primaries). They were established in 2009 by the law 26,571.

In this system, all parties run primary elections in a each general election. All parties must take part, including both the parties with internal factions and parties with a single candidate list. Citizens may vote for any candidate of any party, but may only cast a single vote.

Parties must also get 1.5% or higher of the vote to be allowed to run in the main election. In 2011, 149 minor parties were either closed, or were not allowed to run in specific provinces where they did not met the requirements.[1] This was rejected by the oppositions, who charged that these reforms could stymy minor parties and the formation of new ones.[2][3]

Private funding for political campaigns is not allowed. All parties are granted free airtime during the political campaign to advertisements of a fixed time duration.

Primary elections also serve as polls for the actual presidential elections, revealing the portion of votes that the candidates are expected receive in them.[4]


  1. ^ "La reforma política dejó fuera de competencia a 149 partidos" [The political amendment left out 149 parties] (in Spanish). Clarín. January 25, 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Los principales puntos (28 October 2009)" (in Spanish). 28 October 2009. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
  3. ^ "''Clarín'': Fuerte rechazo de la oposición" (in Spanish). 28 October 2009. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
  4. ^ David Hodari (October 23, 2015). "Argentina elections 2015: a guide to the parties, polls and electoral system". The Guardian. Retrieved November 3, 2015.