Source: The Guardian
Argentina’s president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, has taken a major step towards re-election in the country’s first national primary.
With more than 96% of the ballots counted, Kirchner had just over 50%, the government election authority said. She was nearly 38 percentage points ahead of the closest candidate, the centrist Radical Civic Union party congressman Ricardo Alfonsín. The former president Eduardo Duhalde, of a conservative faction of the Peronist party, was third, also with 12%.
Sunday’s primary elections were a nationwide opinion poll because most parties had already chosen their candidates and voters could cast ballots for any party’s candidate.
To avoid a runoff, the winning candidate in the October elections must get at least 45% of the vote, or 40% with a lead of at least 10 points over the closest contender. The results showed Kirchner had no real competitor. Her two main opponents, Alfonsín and Duhalde, fared worse than expected, and the electoral law prohibits them from joining forces and forming a new alliance. If Kirchner gets a similar result in the first round of voting on 23 October, she will win a third term for her centre-left faction of the Peronists.