Kirchner back as Argentina names key vote contenders


President Mauricio Macri’s coalition solidified its lead as Argentina’s biggest political force in primary votes Sunday that also saw the return of fiery leftist former leader Cristina Kirchner. The compulsory votes are a formality to officially name the candidates teed up by their parties to fight the October 22 legislative elections.
Macri’s liberal economic reforms in the poverty-stricken country appeared to have survived the test, two years into his term, with the Cambiemos coalition leading in the country’s five biggest provinces.
“This is the change Argentines want,” Macri told supporters.
“Results don’t come overnight for things done seriously,” he added, speaking to those suffering from the impact of inflation and unemployment, with about a third of the population living in poverty.
Much of the focus for the vote was on Buenos Aires, a province home to about 40 percent of voters that stretches from the capital to the Pampas plains, and Kirchner’s results.Kirchner, 64, claimed victory for her bid to get a senate seat around 4:00 am, complaining of the government’s delay in counting the votes.
At that time, with 95 percent of the votes counted, results showed Kirchner with 34.14 percent of the vote, just behind ruling party candidate Esteban Bullrich with 34.17 percent. The government said it was halting the count, without providing any further explanation.
“The result is that we have won,” Kirchner told dozens of supporters.
“I never thought I would have to apologize for the embarrassment we experienced. It was to put on a show, but it is an offense to the citizens who voted loyally.”
Kirchner dominated Argentine politics for years alongside her late husband before leaving office in 2015.


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