Massa snatches surprise first-round win in Argentina election

Buenos Aires, Oct 22 (EFE).- Argentina’s Economy Minister Sergio Massa snatched a surprise win in the first round of the presidential election on Sunday, setting the stage for a run-off.

The Peronist will now face La Libertad Avanza candidate Javier Milei, who won the August primaries, in the Nov. 19 second round.

With 83.26 percent of the votes counted, Massa had obtained 36.15 percent, followed by right-wing populist Milei with 30.31 percent, and the Juntos por el Cambio candidate, Patricia Bullrich, with just 23.71 percent.

In the headquarters of Massa’s Unión por la Patria, an effervescent party atmosphere reigned Sunday night, since the polls had predicted that Milei was going to revalidate the victory he achieved in the PASO (Open, simultaneous and mandatory primary elections).

In the province of Buenos Aires, the bastion of the followers of the current vice president and former president Cristina Fernández (2007-2015), the victory went to the ruling party Axel Kicillof, with 45.23 percent of the votes with 69.32 percent of the votes counted.

In the opposition Juntos por el Cambio camp, the atmosphere was one of defeat, barely mitigated by the victory in the city of Buenos Aires, where the official candidate Jorge Macri, cousin of former president Mauricio Macri, came first with 49.29 percent of the votes and Leandro Santoro came in second place with 32.31 percent of the votes, with 79.28 percent of the votes counted.

Some 35.4 million Argentinians were summoned to vote for a new president and vice president, and renew 130 of the 257 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 24 of the 72 in the Senate, as well as appoint 43 Argentine representatives to the Mercosur Parliament (Parlasur, legislative body of the bloc made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay). EFE


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