Argentina: Voters reject Mauricio Macri's austerity in primary vote

Argentina’s Alberto Fernandez & Cristina Kirchner crush President Macri in ‘preliminary elections’

Argentina’s Alberto Fernandez & Cristina Kirchner crush President Macri in ‘preliminary elections’

With 88% of polling stations tallied early Monday, official results gave the presidential slate headed by Alberto Fernandez and his vice-presidential running mate, Cristina Fernandez, about 47% of the votes in a primary vote featuring 10 candidates.

The Fernandez ticket, whose two members are not related, contends Macri must be defeated so they can fight the poverty and homelessness that they blame on his policies.

Political developments in Argentina weigh on peso on Monday.

The peso plunged 5.1 percent to 48.50 per USA dollar following early official results on the platform of digital brokerage firm Balanz, which operates the currency online non-stop.

If Fernandez was to register the same result in October, he would be president as Argentina's electoral law requires a candidate to gain 45 per cent for outright victory, or 40 per cent and a lead of at least 10 points over the nearest challenger. If there is no clear victor, voters will return for a run-off on November 24.

"The main responsibility of both coalitions should be to prioritize governance over the campaign", Vilker said, noting that the results could send markets reeling.

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Nationwide primary elections were introduced in 2011 for all parties and are a barometer for how Argentinians are likely to vote in the country's general election on October 27.

Voters were given a stark choice: stay the course of painful austerity measures under Macri or a return to interventionist economics.

The preliminary results from Sunday's voting suggest the conservative Macri will face an uphill battle going into general elections in October and it sent Argentina's stocks, peso and bonds tumbling over concern at a return of the populist governments that preceded him. Yet Macri is hoping some recent glimmers of economic revival are enough to encourage voters to stick with his free-markets reform agenda despite a painful recession and 55% inflation. "This is something that nobody expected". Most Argentines blame the International Monetary Fund for encouraging policies that led to the country's worst economic crisis in 2001, which resulted in one of every five Argentines being unemployed and millions sliding into poverty.

Mr. Fernandez has promised access to free medicines for retirees and better wages for workers while hammering Mr. Macri for the uptick in poverty and unemployment. The massive $57 billion deal Macri secured past year with the International Monetary Fund has so far failed to improve the situation.

"I am sure that today we Argentines begin to build a new history", Fernandez said on Sunday.

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