Peronist Fernandez wins Argentine presidential election

PTI

Argentina's presidential candidate for the Frente de Todos party Alberto Fernandez (R) flashes the Victory sign as he leaves the polling station in Buenos Aires during Argentina's general election on October 27, 2019. - Polls opened early Sunday for Argentina's 34 million registered voters in an election in which Fernandez -- the main opposition candidate -- is widely tipped in opinion polls to obtain the 45 percent of votes needed to secure an outright victory in the first round. (Photo by AFP)

Argentina’s presidential candidate for the Frente de Todos party Alberto Fernandez (R) flashes the Victory sign as he leaves the polling station in Buenos Aires during Argentina’s general election on October 27, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Peronist candidate Alberto Fernandez won Argentina’s presidential election in the first round on Sunday, official results showed, bringing to an end the crisis-plagued rule of market-friendly incumbent Mauricio Macri.

Fernandez, a 60-year-old law professor, had 47.36 percent of the votes — crossing the threshold for outright victory — after 75 percent of the votes had been counted, with center-right incumbent Mauricio Macri trailing at 41.22 percent.

To win outright, Fernandez required 45 percent, or 40 percent with a 10 point margin over his nearest rival.

His win also caps a remarkable political comeback for his running mate, ex-president Cristina Kirchner, who will be his vice-president.

Thousands of ecstatic Fernandez supporters cheered and danced outside his Frente de Todos party headquarters in Buenos Aires.

“It’s a great day for Argentina,” a smiling Fernandez told reporters after exit polls and his own party’s tallies, had given him victory.

Macri, 60, whose popularity has fallen sharply in the last year as Argentina battled recession and market turmoil, said after he voted that competing “visions of the future are at stake” in the vote.

The interior ministry said turnout in Sunday’s general election was over 80 percent after a campaign dominated by the crippling economic crisis affecting Latin America’s second-biggest economy.

Macri had called for a massive turnout, which analysts saw as his main hope of closing a large opinion poll deficit on Fernandez and forcing a second round.

Fernandez vowed to end sharp divisions between his Peronist movement and supporters of the business-friendly incumbent.

(PTI)