Argentine mid-term primary shows swing away from gov't

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, August 12, 2013
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Latest results of Argentina's midterm primary election on Sunday show opponents of President Cristina Fernandez are gaining ground.

In what served as a massive mid-term opinion poll, a total of 30 million Argentines voted in the congressional primaries, which determine candidates for the Oct. 27 legislative elections. A third of the Senate and half of the members of Chamber of Deputies will be replaced in the October mid-term elections.

The Sunday vote indicated a drop in Fernandez's popularity, while opposition leader Sergio Massa topped the vote-heavy province of Buenos Aires.

Fernandez cast her vote at the polling station in Rio Gallegos, accompanied by her daughter-in-law Rocio and grandson Nestor Ivan.

"There is nothing better than democracy," the president said to local media about the primaries, "We have achieved 30 consecutive years of democracy."

Fernandez, Argentina's first elected female president and now 60 years old, was re-elected to a second term in 2011.

The October legislative elections are critical to Fernandez because the results will determine whether she will face new checks on her power.

If her opponents gain control of a third of the seats or more, they could end any chance of changing the constitution to extend term limits and keep her in office beyond 2015.

The vote started at 8:00 a.m. local time (1100 GMT) and closed at 6:00 p.m. (2100 GMT). It was Argentina's first obligatory nationwide primary and also the first election to include people aged 16 and 17. Endi

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