BUENOS AIRES – Ruling party candidate Daniel Scioli will face conservative Mauricio Macri in Argentina’s first-ever presidential run-off election next month, election officials said Monday.
Scioli garnered 36.85 percent of the vote in Sunday’s election, while Macri received 34.34 percent, with 97.06 percent of the ballots counted.
To win the election in the first round, a candidate needed 45 percent of the vote, or 40 percent of the vote and a lead of 10 percentage points over his closest rival.
Scioli, of the ruling Front for Victory, and Macri, leader of the opposition Cambiemos coalition, will face each other in the run-off on Nov. 22.
The other four candidates in Sunday’s election, according to the provisional vote tally, are out of the race.
Dissident Peronist Sergio Massa received 21.34 percent of the vote; Nicolas del Caño, of the Frente de Izquierda, got 3.27 percent; Progressive Margarita Stolbizer garnered 2.54 percent; and former President Adolfo Rodriguez Saa, of Compromiso Federal, received 1.67 percent of the vote.
The winner of the run-off election will succeed President Cristina Fernandez.
The 62-year-old Fernandez, a Peronist who has been in office for eight years, is barred by the constitution from running for the presidency again until 2019.
Argentines also voted on Sunday for members of the lower house of Congress, all the members of the Senate, 11 provincial governors and Mercosur parliament members.
Macri’s party attributed a great deal of his solid showing to the good performance by Maria Eugenia Vidal in the race for governor of Buenos Aires province.
With 96.44 percent of the ballots counted, Vidal garnered 39.49 percent of the vote, followed by ruling party candidate Anibal Fernandez, with 35.18 percent, in a province that is home to 37 percent of Argentina’s voters.
The opposition deployed thousands of people to monitor polling places in the wake of allegations of irregularities in the elections held over the past few months in different provinces.
The national elections office took measures, including tighter controls at polling places, monitoring of trucks carrying voting materials with GPS and maintaining copies of election identification cards in triplicate, to ensure transparency.