Argentina’s presidential election heads into runoff

Conservative opposition candidate Mauricio Macri forces run-off in Argentine presidential election with unexpected success against governing party candidate

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Lead opposition candidate Mauricio Macri speaks to journalists after casting his vote in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015.

Preliminary results show that Argentina’s presidential election moves into a runoff on Nov. 22 between Daniel Scioli, backed by leftist President Cristina Fernandez and her Front for Victory Party, and conservative candidate Mauricio Macri.

Macri gave a speech to supporters and he said, "What happened today will change politics in this country." 

The results from 86 percent of polling stations show that Macri had 35.2 percent while Scioli had 35.9 percent of the vote.

Under Argentine law, in order to win election, a candidate must get more than 45 percent of the vote, or at least 40 percent with plus 10 points more over the rival.

The runoff will be the first in the Argentina’s political history.

The results had been faced by silence at Scioli headquarters while Scioli supporters were celebrating expected outright victory.

"I’m not surprised that the margin is narrow but I never imagined Macri would be on top," said one shocked Scioli supporter cause of election results.

Macri’s alliance has also won the gubernatorial election in Argentina’s most populous, Buenos Aires province.

A former powerboat champion, Scioli generally takes support from Argentina’s low class. He was Nestor Kirchner’s vice president from 2003 to 2007 and as he claims to defend core of ‘Kirchnerism’ which is populist doctrine built around trade protectionism, social welfare system and defence of the working classes’ rights.

Conservative opposition candidate pro-business Mauricio Macri, who was mayor of Buenos Aires, immediately wants to end Kirchners’ "heavy handed economy."

The next president most probably will have to face big problems such as high inflation numbers and overvalued currency in Argentina, Latin America’s third-largest economy after Brazil and Mexico.

TRTWorld and agencies