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Argentina: Primary Elections and Future Presidential Candidates

On August 14, 2011, primary elections [es] were held in Argentina for the first time. This new way of voting allows the population to choose possible candidates for the positions of President, Member of Parliament and Senator: if candidates gain 400,000 votes (1.5% of the electoral roll), they may run for their respective post in the definitive elections in October 2011.

The official website 2011 Elections [es] explains the methodology which will be applied in Argentina:

When are the elections? Unlike previous occasions, and as a result of the approval of Law No. 26,751, we will have a greater level of participation and will have to vote at least twice:

On August 14th we will choose between the pre-candidates standing for each political party and alliance, to decide who will be the candidates in the National Elections for the positions of President and Vice-President, National Senators and Members of Parliament.

On October 23rd we will elect our representatives for various national elective posts from those candidates chosen in the Primary Elections.

Following a long electoral campaign, the current president, Cristina Fernández [es] has achieved the highest number of votes and is thus able to run for the presidential elections with a high chance of winning. However, Deborah Mend (@debbiemend) clarifies via Twitter that winning the highest number of votes does not signify winning elections:

No entiendo por que los medios ponen ‘Gano Cristina’ si fueron elecciones primarias y era la única candidata del FpV!! #primarias2011

I don't understand why the media writes ‘Cristina won’ if these were primary elections and she was the only candidate from the FpV!! #primarias2011

Nicolas Spolli (@nicolasspolli30), an Argentinian football player who is currently playing for Catania, expresses his happiness at the result on his Twitter account:

Que hermosa paliza le dimos a todos Cristinita querida! Que feliz me pone la eleccion que hiciste! En 2 meses algunos van a tirar la toalla?

What a beautiful beating we gave them all, dear Cristina! I'm so happy with your election! Will some of them give up in 2 months’ time?

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Photo: Laura Schneider

There was a high voter turnout throughout the country and the process took place with absolute calm, as Liliana T (@lili_Argentina) testifies:

#asivote Voté en Almagro. Llegué y voté al toque. No falto boletas! Todo normal!. Acompañé a pareja a votar a Ciudadela. Todo impecable!

#asivote I voted in Almagro. I arrived and voted straightaway. There was no shortage of ballot papers! Everything was fine! I went with my partner to vote in Ciudadela. Everything was perfect!

At 8pm Argentinean time, the current President and presidential candidate for the party Front for Victory [es] for the 2011 elections, published her first comment of the day on Twitter ( @CFKArgentina):

Un video de esta mañana, votando en Río Gallegos y charlando con el periodismo youtube.com/user/CFKArgent…

A video from this morning, voting in Río Gallegos and chatting with journalists  youtube.com/user/CFKArgent…

The other candidates for the presidential race are: Ricardo Alfonsín [es], Eduardo Duhalde [es], Hermes Binner [es] among others.

Since the close of voting, numbers of votes for the current president have climbed, and with 95.5% of polling stations’ votes counted, the results are the following according to the news site Infobae (@Infobae), at the time of writing this post:

#e2011: 95,5% mesas escrutadas, @CFKArgentina 50,07% – @RICALFONSIN 12,19% – @eduardoaduhalde 12,17% – @HermesBinner 10,29% | #Primarias

#e2011: 95.5% of polling stations counted, @CFKArgentina 50.07% – @RICALFONSIN 12.19% – @eduardoaduhalde 12.17% – @HermesBinner 10.29% | #Primarias

This large majority as well as the virtual draw between the second and third candidates provoked a wave of reactions both in favour of and against the results. One of the most popular hashtags was ‘AVANTI MOROCHA’ referring to Cristina Fernandez and David (@eltwdedavid), who according to his Twitter profile considers himself to be neither a Kirchner nor a Fernandez supporter, comments:

Somos la mitad mas uno, somos el pueblo, el carnaval! AVANTI MOROCHA!

We are half plus one, we are the people, the carnaval! AVANTI MOROCHA!

On the other hand, Guido Escot (@Dementinsane), via the hashtag #chauCFK poses the question:

Todo el que dijo #chauCFK donde están? diganme ni unidos toda la oposición logran un balotaje…. #yovotocfk

Where are all those who spoke on #chauCFK [bye Cristina Fernández]? Tell me if all the opposition parties put together will manage to get a recount… #yovotocfk

And Dina Rezinovsky (@dinarezi) reflects on the results:

Luego d pensar toda la noche (?) concluyo q en las primarias se juntaron los “estómagos vacíos” y el “aparato de dar plata a vagos” #E2011

After thinking about it all night (?) I conclude that in the primary elections the “empty stomachs” came together with the “machine for giving money to layabouts” #E2011

Flag of the Radical Civic Union party in the campaign – photo: Laura Schneider

Starting Monday, August 15, the candidates will begin their campaigns, and on October 23 the new President who will govern Argentina for the next 4 years will be elected. Meanwhile, we can only wait, as Fernando Kohutiak (@fkohutiak) writes:

Mis más sinceras felicitaciones a todos los partidos que lograron validar sus candidatos. Ahora empieza otra historia. #E2011 #Argentina

My sincere congratulations to all those parties who succeeded in validating their candidates. Now another story begins. #E2011 #Argentina

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