Center-left Peronist candidate Alberto Fernandez won Sunday's presidential election in Argentina in the first round, ahead of outgoing Liberal president Mauricio Macri, according to partial results. With nearly 80% of the ballots counted, Alberto Fernandez obtained 47.45% of the votes, against 41.11% for Mauricio Macri. He becomes the new president of this country of 44 million inhabitants.
To win in the first round, Fernandez had to obtain more than 45% of the votes, or more than 40% of the votes with an advantage of more than 10 points on the candidate who came in second. According to the Ministry of the Interior, voter turnout was over 80%. "This is a great day for Argentina," had reacted, confident, before the press Alberto Fernandez, whose running mate is the former president Cristina Kirchner (2007-2015), shortly after the closing of polling stations.
Two "competing visions of the future" at stake
The outgoing president, Mauricio Macri, 60, whose popularity fell sharply last year due to the severe economic crisis, had estimated after voting that two "competing visions of the future (were) at stake". After voting, Alberto Fernandez promised to work to reduce the strong political polarization that crosses the country, between Peronists and supporters of Mauricio Macri who is seeking a second term. "'We' and 'them' are over," said the 60-year-old lawyer. "We are in a deep crisis (economic), everyone must take responsibility for what will happen," he insisted.
After the announcement of his victory, Alberto Fernandez, visibly moved, spoke in front of several thousand of his supporters. "The times ahead are not easy," he said. "The only thing that concerns us is that the Argentines stop suffering". Cristina Kirchner, who was at his side, called Macri to take in the last days of his mandate "all necessary measures to alleviate the dramatic situation" of Argentina.
The outgoing President congratulated Fernandez and promised to lead a "healthy and constructive" opposition. He invited the new head of state to lunch Monday in the presidency, and his invitation was accepted by Fernandez. At the August primaries - considered as a dress rehearsal before the presidential election - Fernandez had advanced from 17 points Macri, which finally narrowed the gap. The vote in Argentina takes place while the region is shaken by many political and social crises: mobilization against the results of the presidential election in Bolivia, wave of protest in Chile and social unrest in Ecuador two weeks ago.