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Re-elected Argentine President cheered by crowds

10-26-2011 14:09 BJT

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Argentina's Cristina Fernandez wins re-election

BUENOS AIRES, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- Argentine President Cristina Fernandez secured a landslide victory in Sunday's presidential election with over half of the votes.

Initial results from the National Office of Electoral Processes (NOEP) were in line with exit polls released earlier in the day which gave Fernandez, widow of former President Nestor Kirchner, who died a year ago, between 52 percent and 57 percent of the votes.

"I feel humbled, very very humbled," Fernandez said in her first words to supporters after the release of the first results by the NOEP, adding that she was grateful for the support by so many Argentines.

She also pledged to work to "continue the government project" of social supports initiated by her late husband.

When the first news of victory was broadcast on national television, wild celebrations broke out for both Fernandez and her Victory Front Coalition, and tens of thousands of supporters started gathering in the capital.

"Friends, Cristina has been reelected," announced a supporter at the Hotel Intercontinental in Buenos Aires.

At the key Plaza de Mayo square in central capital, thousands of supporters shouted "Cristina, Cristina, we love you, we knew you would win," according to images broadcasted on the national television.

Across Argentina, supporters celebrated the victory by waving flags and setting off fireworks.

Polling stations closed at 6:00 p.m. local time (2100 GMT) and both the NOEP and other authorities said voting in the general and presidential elections proceeded peacefully across the country.

"The electoral process has been the most successful in the history of Argentina's democracy," Interior Minister Florencio Randazzo said, adding that about 70 percent of the total 28.9 million registered voters had participated in Sunday's ballot.

Earlier in the day, when Fernandez cast her vote in the remote city of Rio Gallegos, more than 2,600 km south of the capital, she said that a strong economic growth and a 20-year low unemployment rate were reasons for national pride.

But Fernandez also got deeply emotional when speaking to reporters. Her voice became choked when she recalled her late husband Kirchner, who died of a sudden heart attack almost one year ago.

"I have very mixed feelings about so many things, I am happy for the way the elections are proceeding, but I am also sad," she said before boarding a plane with her children to return to Buenos Aires.

Hermes Binner, who was considered to be Fernandez's main rival, came in second with about 17 percent of the votes, according to the NOEP.

A total of 87,646 security officers were deployed to maintain order across the country, but no incident or violence was reported.

Besides voting for a president for the 2011-2015 term, Argentines on Sunday also elected 24 senators, 130 deputies to the lower house of parliament and nine provincial governors.

 

Editor:James |Source: CNTV

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