BUENOS AIRES – The Buenos Aires mayoral candidate for the conservative Republican Proposal, or Pro, Horacio Rodriguez Larreta, eked out a victory in the election runoff on Sunday by less than 2 percentage points, according to the official vote count.
With 91.17 percent of the precincts reporting, Rodriguez Larreta, who has headed the capital government’s cabinet since late 2007, garnered 51.37 percent of the votes, to the 48.63 percent captured by Martin Lousteau, the candidate of the center-left Eco party.
According to the official figures, turnout was 69.57 percent, and 5.08 percent of the deposited ballots were blank.
In the first electoral round, held on July 5, Rodriguez Larreta had garnered a plurality of 44.7 percent, but 50 percent were needed to avoid a runoff.
Lousteau – who had served as economy minister during President Cristina Fernandez’s first term from 2007-2011, although he is now an opponent of the administration – had received 25 percent of the votes in the first round.
Some 2.5 million people were registered to vote in the Argentine capital, making it the country’s fourth-largest electoral district.
The PRO party will remain in control of the City of Buenos Aires’ mayoral seat for a third period in a row.
Analysts believe that the election is a positive development for opposition presidential candidate Mauricio Macri, the former 2 term Buenos Aires mayor, as it reinforces his support in one of the most important voting centers of the country.