Published: Mon, October 28, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Alberto Fernandez set to become Argentina's new president

Alberto Fernandez set to become Argentina's new president

If he repeats this today, he will win outright.

A woman casts her vote at a polling station, in Buenos Aires, Argentina October 27, 2019.

The result was expected to rattle financial markets and possibly further depreciate Argentina's already weak currency, amid concerns of a return to the interventionist policies of former President Cristina Fernández, who is Alberto Fernandez's vice presidential running mate.

The election pits Macri's tough-love austerity against the "social contract" of the left-leaning opposition, whose populism has lured voters, hurt badly by a snarling economic crisis. Fernandez had a wide lead in pre-election polls.

Around the country, in an overcast Buenos Aires, amid the Pampas farmlands and the vineyards of Mendoza, polling stations opened their doors at 8 a.m.

Argentina's choice could have widespread implications: it is one the world's top grain exporters, as well as stirring the energy world with its huge Vaca Muerta shale field.

It also shows a shift toward the left throughout the region, where conservative reformers face the challenge of slowing growth, sparking anger about poverty and inequality.

Fernandez paid tribute to Evo Morales for his election victory in neighboring Bolivia to win a fourth term, and wished jailed ex-Brazil president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva - 74 on Sunday - a happy birthday.

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Since Fernandez's crushing victory in August primaries, Argentine savers have withdrawn around $12 billion from their accounts.

It pushed the country deeper into economic crisis and made Mr Macri the underdog in an election which most had thought would be a close-run affair.

He said he had spoken by phone to Fernandez and had "invited him to breakfast tomorrow at the Casa Rosada because he has to start a period of orderly transition that will bring tranquility to Argentines", Macri told his supporters.

"It will be an effort from all of us". He needs 45% support, or 40% support with a 10 percentage point lead, over the nearest rival to avoid a runoff vote on November 24.

If these criteria are not met, there will be a runoff held on November 24.

"I also hope that he will be able to get out country's economy going again a bit and get us out of the debt generated by our current president Macri".

Voters will choose presidential candidates, along with deputies, senators, governors and local leaders.

On a night of disappointment for the center-right, there was some consolation when the candidate for Macri's Together for Change coalition easily won the mayorship of the city of Buenos Aires.

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