- Fernández obtained 47.93% of the votes, against 40,55% of the incumbent, Macri.
- "It's a great day for Argentina," Fernández said with a broad smile as he left the house victoriously to greet supporters.
- Argentina is going through a recession and is struggling with sky-high inflation.
Opposition candidate Alberto Fernández has been elected the new President of Argentina in the first round of the nation’s elections. The center-left candidate defeated the nation’s current president, Mauricio Macri.
With 93.99% of the votes already counted, Fernández obtained 47.93% of the votes, against 40,55% of the incumbent, Macri. Under the country’s electoral rules, the first runner-up is elected in the first round if he garners 45% of the vote or 40%, provided it has ten percentage points more than the second runner-up.
With the result, Fernández, 60, who is a lawyer by profession, and head of the party formed with former President Cristina Kirchner (2007-2015), will take over the Presidency of Argentina on December 10. The victory represents the left’s return to Argentina after four years. The country has 44 million inhabitants and is plunged into a serious economic crisis.
“It’s a great day for Argentina,” Fernández said with a broad smile as he left the house victoriously to greet supporters after it became crystal clear that he had emerged the winner in the elections. Addressing his supporters at his party’s headquarters, Fernandez thanked the people of Argentina for the victory and promised a government for the people by the people under his governance.
“We’re going to be the Argentina that we deserve because it’s not true that we’re condemned to this Argentina,” said Fernandez. “We’re going to enter the world with dignity. The government is back in the hands of the people,” he added.
Even before the elections, opinion polls were showing Fernández as the big favorite for the presidency. Macri has been president since 2015. When he took office, the liberal entrepreneur promised to pull the economy of the South American country out of the mire that it was in, but he apparently failed terribly. Argentina is going through a recession and is struggling with sky-high inflation. The foreign exchange reserves have also shrunk, and the external debt has risen to €100 billion.
Furthermore, unemployment in the country has risen to above 10 percent. The country received $57 billion in emergency aid from the International Monetary Fund last year. This was accompanied by a savings program that, according to the outgoing president, Macri, has yet to bear fruit. Amidst a climate of tension in several Latin American countries, with massive protests in Chile, Bolivia, and Ecuador, the crisis in Venezuela, and elections in neighboring Uruguay, Argentina’s election is key to shaping forces in the region.
Macri Concedes Defeat
The country’s outgoing president, Macri, conceded defeat on Sunday night and told his supporters at his headquarters in Buenos Aires that he had already rung president-elect Fernández to congratulate him. Macri also invited Fernández to the Pink House for smooth transition arrangements.
“We need an orderly transition that will bring tranquility to all Argentinians because the most important thing is the wellbeing of all Argentinians,” Macri said. The President-elect, Fernández, is a moderate representative of left-wing populist Peronism, and he pledged during his campaigns to raise wages and spend more on social policy.