Cristina Kirchner set to win Argentinian presidential elections

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of the center political front Frente para la Victoria won over 45% of votes in today's Presidential elections in Argentina, according to exit polls of the national media agencies.

File:Cristina Kirchner vs. Elisa Carrio - Argentina 2007 elections.jpg
Cristina Kirchner is set to win the battle against Elisa Carrió to become Argentina's President.
Image: Agência Brasil.

Elisa Carrió, her main adversary, is predicted to have won some 24% of the estimated 27 million votes. If this would be the case, 'Cristina' would win the elections in the first round, as the Argentinian electoral law states that to win the elections, someone has to obtain more than 40% of votes, and the difference with the next candidate has to be over 10%. The exit polls say the in the province of Buenos Aires, Daniel Scioli has gained more than half of votes.

Voting started this morning at 08:00 local time, and Cristina Kirchner was the favourite candidate to succeed her husband, current President of Argentina Néstor Kirchner, who decided not to run for a second four-year term, without giving any explanation. Mrs Kirchner consistently used her first name during her electoral campaign, just like Hillary Clinton does in the United States. Clinton is also a lawyer and a senator wanting to succeed her husband as President. But Cristina replied recently: "I don't want to be compared with Hillary Clinton or with Evita Perón, or with anybody... There's nothing better than being yourself."

Mrs Kirchner's husband is very popular because of the successful economic reforms after the economy collapsed six years ago. The current President oversaw steep reductions in poverty and unemployment rates. This was the reason for Cristina's campaign slogan, Sabemos como hacerlo, 'we know how to do it.' However, accusations of corruption have emerged during the last year, and rising inflation rates are becoming problematic, while there are concerns that the government's inflation statistics are flawed. Crime rates have also been a key campaign issue.

Several voting offices had long waiting times and voting was extended for one hour until 19:00 local time (UTC 16:00). There were also various protests because of the lack of voting forms. A spokesperson for candidate Roberto Lavagna, who might become third in the Presidential race, said there was a "systematic lack" of voting forms. Anibal Fernández, Minister of the Interior, said that this was the responsibility of the provincial authorities.

While voting, Mrs Kirchner told the press how important the right to vote was for her, in a reference to the military dictatorship of 1976-1983. "When I was 18 I couldn't vote, so this [voting] is very important... It's important that in the tranquility of democracy, citizens can decide in what kind of country they want to live," Mrs Kirchner said.

Eight new provincial governors and new members for half the parliament and a third of the senate will also be elected today.

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