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.
HELPING HAND: Taiwan is ready to help other nations and will not sit idly by while the global fight against the coronavirus continues, President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan, as a responsible member of the international community, is to offer humanitarian assistance to nations hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic by sending them masks and medicine, as well as sharing with them an electronic system that the government has been using to track down people that need to be quarantined, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. With the nation’s daily production having reached 13 million masks and soon to reach 15 million, the government is to donate 10 million masks to medical personnel in nations most severely affected by the coronavirus, Tsai said at the Presidential Office in Taipei. The
NINE NEW CASES: The CECC said two locally transmitted cases of COVID-19, and seven imported ones – five women and two men – brought the nation’s total to 348 People who refuse to wear a mask on public transportation after being asked to do so would face a NT$3,000 to NT$15,000 fine, effective immediately, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday after announcing nine additional COVID-19 cases. In a move to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications on Tuesday announced that people must wear masks on trains and intercity buses, while Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, on Tuesday said that people should wear them when they cannot maintain a social distance of 1.5m indoors. Chen yesterday
TRILLION PROPOSED: The premier said the goal was to keep ‘businesses solvent, the unemployment rate down, transportation and logistics going, and cash flowing’ The Executive Yuan yesterday announced an expanded economic stimulus package totaling NT$1.05 trillion (US$34.64 billion), including NT$81.6 billion in subsidies for employers to prevent a spike in unemployment. The increased budget comprises a special budget of NT$210 billion, up from the NT$60 billion already passed by the Legislative Yuan; NT$140 billion — up from NT$40 billion — to be appropriated from the general budget; and NT$700 billion in loans to industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics Minister Chu Tzer-ming (朱澤民) told a news conference at the Executive Yuan in Taipei. The NT$150 billion increase in the
The Central Epidemic Command Center yesterday released a set of revised criteria for reporting suspected COVID-19 cases, while also announcing its guidelines for disclosing patients’ personal information. The center said that its advisory specialist panel revised the definition for “severe pneumonia with novel pathogens” — COVID-19 infection — by expanding the criteria needed to report suspected cases. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that physicians should report people for testing if they meet one of three clinical conditions: They have a fever, acute respiratory infection, or a lack of smell or taste; there is a