BUENOS AIRES – The head of the opposition Cambiemos alliance, Mauricio Macri, won the presidential runoff election on Sunday in Argentina, according to the first official results.
With 14.82 percent of the precincts tabulated, Macri is ahead with 54.43 percent of the votes, compared with 45.57 percent for Peronist Daniel Scioli, the candidate of the ruling Front for Victory.
After exit polls indicated that Macri had garnered the victory, as official results were released through the evening it became clear that the conservative frontrunner in pre-election voter surveys had indeed triumphed in Argentina’s first presidential run-off balloting since the current election system was implemented in 1994.
Argentine Attorney General Julio Alak and national election director Alejandro Tulio announced the first official results early in the evening after the polls had closed at 6 p.m.
Alak said that “these elections were held with complete normality, with order and in peace, with a very high level of security (and) organization,” adding that voter turnout – which is obligatory in Argentina – was almost 78 percent.
About 32 million Argentines were eligible to vote in the runoff to elect the successor to President Cristina Fernandez after in the Oct. 25 first electoral round Macri had obtained 34.15 percent of the votes to Scioli’s 37.08 percent.
The 62-year-old Fernandez, a Peronist who has been in office for eight years, was barred by the constitution from running for the presidency again until 2019.
More than 100,000 security forces members were deployed across the country to maintain order at the 13,880 election precincts.
Each of the parties had around 13,500 monitors working to ensure no irregularities occurred during the election.
The new president-elect will be inaugurated on Dec. 10.