Tags: LT | Argentina | Elections

Argentine President Fernandez Dominates Unusual Primary Vote

Sunday, 14 Aug 2011 09:19 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Argentine President Cristina Fernandez got nearly half the votes against a divided opposition in Sunday's primary, giving her re-election campaign a feeling of invincibility.

Three of the nine other candidates were battling for second place in Argentina's first-ever open and simultaneous presidential primary.

Fernandez had 49 percent of the votes, Dep. Ricardo Alfonsin had 13 percent, former President Eduardo Duhalde 12 percent and Socialist Santa Fe Gov. Hermes Binner 11 percent with 25 percent of the polling places reporting.

The results suggest that unless the opposition unites around a single candidate, Fernandez has a very good chance of winning re-election. The winner on Oct. 23 must get at least 45 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff, or more than 40 percent with a 10 percentage point lead over the second-place finisher in a race with multiple candidates.

In her victory speech, Fernandez referred to the looming global economic crisis and said politicians must ensure Argentina remains independent.

"We have to not only take care of our political democracy, but our economic democracy as well," she said.

She also praised voters for what she called an historic advance in Argentina's democracy. The idea of the open, simultaneous and obligatory primary was meant to force parties to allow voters to choose candidates for president and vice president.

Instead, all the parties simply proclaimed their candidates months ago. That turned the primary into a kind of nationwide political survey, since voting is mandatory in Argentina and voters could choose any candidate in the primary irrespective of party.

In a society as deeply polarized as Argentina's, where both the ruling party and a fractured opposition have long claimed to represent what most citizens want, the election also gave voters a chance to show exactly where their sympathies lie.

Having voted their hearts on Sunday, this logic goes, Argentines should feel free to vote with their heads when it counts on Oct. 23. But Fernandez's rivals have attacked each other so relentlessly that it may be difficult for them to come together.

"The serious campaign begins now. I'm sure we can win the elections in October," Alfonsin said.

"We are going to be in the second round in October," vowed Duhalde, also showing no signs of conceding.

Turnout was about 75 percent of the nation's 29 million voters, who faced fines and bureaucratic hassles if they failed to cast ballots.

Among the other candidates, San Luis Gov. Alberto Rodriguez Saa got 8 percent, Dep. Elisa Carrio got 3 percent, leftist Jorge Altamira got 3 percent and the others failed to get the 1.5 percent necessary to appear on October's ballot.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Texas Lt. Gov. Dewhurst: We Need Congress to Pass a Border Bill

Friday, 01 Aug 2014 17:55 PM

Texas is doing its part to help alleviate the migration crisis at its border with Mexico, and now it's time for Congress . . .

Obama Stands Behind Secretary Kerry and CIA's Brennan Amid Criticism

Friday, 01 Aug 2014 17:34 PM

Amid mounting criticism of Secretary of State John Kerry and CIA Director John Brennan, President Barack Obama used an i . . .

Tea Party Leader: House GOP Finally Listening on Border

Friday, 01 Aug 2014 16:43 PM

Conservative lawmakers have put pressure on House Speaker John Boehner to add items to the emergency border security mea . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved