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.
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted
‘INCREASINGLY FAVORED’: Taiwan’s ‘transparent laws and efficient courts’ as well as its financial institutions give it a major advantage to become a financial hub, Tsai said Taiwan would liberalize banking and investment rules to establish itself as a regional financial hub, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) told the Taiwan Capital Market Forum in Taipei yesterday. Recent world events could be an opening for Taiwan to become an international center for business investments and financial management, Tsai said at the forum, which was organized by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister publication of the Taipei Times). “We’re facing unknowns in the world right now, including the continuing impact of US-China trade tensions and the reorganization of the global supply chain after COVID-19,” Tsai said. “These bring new challenges and opportunities.” Tsai
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would