BUENOS AIRES – An Argentine court on Tuesday ordered the electoral board of the northern province of Tucuman not to declare any winner in the Aug. 23 gubernatorial election until a move to have the ballot overturned is resolved.
Election officials must “refrain from considering closed the process of definitive vote-counting which is under way and from declaring winners,” the administrative court ruled.
The court also ordered all ballots and ballot boxes used in the elections to be protected.
“When the definitive vote count is completed we will have to call a hearing of the political parties, communicate the results and listen to observations. If the basic situation does not change, we will remain at this last step,” the secretary of the Tucuman electoral board, Dario Almaraz, told TN television.
The provincial board has rejected a proposal to hold a fresh election.
Officials are currently conducting a manual recount of the ballots.
Preliminary results showed the standard-bearer of Tucuman’s governing Front for Victory, Juan Manzur, with 54.42 percent of the vote, nearly 14 percentage points ahead of rival Jose Cano, representing an opposition alliance.
Cano, alleging widespread fraud, filed a court motion last week asking for the elections to be annulled.
The accusations of fraud are being supported by demonstrations in the provincial capital.