Argentina Elections 2019: Alberto Fernandez Wins Presidency After Defeating Incumbent Mauricio Macri
Alberto Fernández has been elected president of Argentina in a vote dominated by economic concerns.
The center-left opposition candidate secured more than the 45% of the vote needed to win, beating conservative incumbent Mauricio Macri.
Raucous crowds gathered at Alberto Fernández’s election headquarters to celebrate the result.
The vote was held amid an economic crisis that has left a third of Argentina’s population in poverty.
Mauricio Macri had trailed behind his challenger in pre-election polls and was trounced by the opposition in primary elections in August.
The incumbent president conceded defeat on October 27. Congratulating his political rival, Mauricio Macri said he had invited Alberto Fernández to the presidential palace on October 28 to discuss an orderly transition.
Alberto Fernández later told supporters he would collaborate with the outgoing president “in every way we can”, according to Reuters.
With more than 90% of ballots counted, Alberto Fernández had 47.79% of the vote, compared to Mauricio Macri’s 40.71%.
To win in the first round, a candidate needs at least 45% of the vote, or 40% and a 10-point lead over the second-place contestant.
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Alberto Fernández will assume the presidency on December 10.
The vote was dominated by concerns over the economy. With nearly one in three people now living in poverty, voters backed the candidate they thought was best-placed to lead Argentina out of the crisis.
Mauricio Macri promised to achieve “zero poverty”, but things actually worsened during his four-year rule. His supporters say he inherited a broken economy when he came to power and needed more time to sort it out.
Alberto Fernández has vowed to play things safe financially.
Career politician Alberto Fernández has caused quite a stir since he first appeared in the limelight of Argentine politics some six months ago.
The former campaign strategist began his bid for the presidency in May – something of a surprise as ex-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner had been widely tipped to be the center-left opposition coalition’s candidate for the top office.
However, Alberto Fernández really came into his own in August when he defeated Mauricio Macri by nearly 15 percentage points in primary elections, a compulsory vote for all electors which is seen is a dry-run for the presidency.