Argentine first lady Cristina Kirchner has won a mandate to take over from her husband as president, according to a near-complete count yesterday of ballots from a weekend election.
Kirchner, a 54-year-old senator, had not even waited for the final results before triumphantly telling her supporters just hours after Sunday's poll: "We have won by a large margin."
Yesterday's tally of ballots from virtually all the country's polling stations -- 96 percent -- showed she had won 44.9 percent of the vote, nearly double that of her nearest rival.
That was enough for her to be declared the outright victor without the need for a run-off.
She is due to take office on Dec. 10, succeeding her husband Nestor Kirchner, 57, who is stepping down after just one four-year term without explanation.
"We congratulate her and recognize her victory," said the second-placed candidate, former lawmaker Elisa Carrio.
She had 23 percent of the vote, according to the latest count.
Roberto Lavagna, a former economy minister sacked two years ago by Nestor Kirchner, came in third with 16.9 percent. Eleven other candidates trailed behind. The first lady was the favorite going into the elections.
Her support largely came from Argentina's poor, whose ranks swelled in the wake of a 2001 economic crisis that saw the country become the biggest defaulter of sovereign debt in history.
The current president presided over impressive recovery of the economy during his term. Growth has brushed 9 percent a year and unemployment has fallen.
Observers say Cristina Kirchner will be tested as she confronts the high inflation, rising crime and low foreign investment threatening her country's recovery.
"She will find it a very different challenge than that during her husband's term," said Michael Shifter, an analyst at the Washington think tank The Dialogue.
A steely lawyer who got a taste of executive power during her husband's term in office, Fernandez has frequently been compared to Hillary Clinton, the US lawyer, senator, former first lady and presidential hopeful.
Nestor Kirchner's Front for Victory party was also set to seize a majority in the legislative Chamber of Deputies and hold the Senate in a simultaneous vote on Sunday, while his allies won governorships in eight provinces, officials said.
‘UNPRECEDENTED’: Taiwan’s envoy said that official wording framing Taiwan-China issues as not about unification or independence counters the narrative Beijing wants Use of the phrase “democratic Taiwan” by Germany’s new coalition government in official document shows that Taiwan-China issues are not about “independence” against “unification,” but about democracy against authoritarianism, Representative to Germany Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) said yesterday. Germany’s Social Democratic Party, Free Democratic Party and the Greens — known as the “traffic light coalition” for their colors — on Wednesday inked a coalition agreement following elections on Sept. 26. The agreement, a blueprint for their governance for the next four years, mentions “Taiwan,” which is unprecedented, showing that the new German government is paying close attention to cross-strait peace and supports Taiwan’s
BIDEN NOD: A China watcher said that the inclusion of Taiwan is notable, as it is the only democratic state on the list that Washington does not officially recognize Minister Without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳) and Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) are to attend the US-led Summit for Democracy on Dec. 9 and 10, the government said yesterday, after US President Joe Biden announced the list of guests for the virtual event. The US Department of State on Tuesday announced a list of 110 invited participants, including Taiwan, Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Japan and the UK. China and Russia were not invited, and Beijing expressed anger at the decision to invite Taiwan. The summit is to revolve around three key themes: Defending against authoritarianism, addressing and fighting
‘BADGE OF HONOR’: Lithuanian lawmaker Dovile Sakaliene, who is on China’s travel ban list, said delegation members joked that they would be joining her on it soon A delegation led by the chairman of the Lithuanian Parliamentary Group for Relations with Taiwan yesterday arrived in Taipei to participate in a conference on democracy later this week. The group, led by Matas Maldeikis, a Lithuanian lawmaker and an outspoken critic of China, touched down at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 6:18am yesterday. Maldeikis said at the airport that he expected the trip to enhance understanding between Taiwan and Lithuania after cooperation between the two sides took a big step forward this past year. “This trip will be another step in understanding each other because we are dealing with the same challenges,”
GET A BOOST: After considering the potential for local outbreaks amid an increase in cases abroad, a committee recommended adolescents receive their second shots The level 2 COVID-19 alert is to be extended until Dec. 13, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday, as it advised people in six high-risk groups to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot. It also recommended that adolescents aged 12 to 17 who had a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine receive a second shot. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the nationwide level 2 alert would remain in place for two more weeks from today. Chen said that during New Year’s events eating and drinking might be allowed in designated areas, while