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Opposition candidate wins Argentina’s presidency in 1st round

Buenos Aires / The center-left candidate in the race for Argentina’s presidency on Sunday defeated the incumbent president in the first round of balloting, according to the interior ministry’s preliminary vote tally.

Alberto Fernández of the Justicialist Party earned about 47.8 percent of the vote with 95 percent of precincts reporting, beating current President Mauricio Macri of the center-right Republican Proposal party, who garnered 40.8 percent – a slightly better result than polls had anticipated.

“You know that until Dec. 10, Macri is still the president. We’re going to collaborate in everything we can, because the only thing we’re concerned about is that Argentines stop suffering once and for all,” Fernández said Sunday before a crowd of followers.

Fernández became the country’s next president after surpassing the threshold of more than 45 percent of the vote needed to avoid a second round of balloting scheduled for Nov. 24.

In Argentina’s two-round system for choosing the president, the runoff is only triggered if no candidate manages to earn either at least 45 percent of ballots or 40 percent with a 10-point lead over the runner-up.

“I want to congratulate President-Elect Alberto Fernández, I’ve just spoken to him for the great election campaign he’s led and invited him for breakfast tomorrow at [the presidential palace] because he needs to start the transition process,” Macri said Sunday as he spoke to his supporters.

The remaining candidates had a far smaller share of the vote, according to the preliminary results: Independent Roberto Lavagna obtained 6.2 percent, followed by Nicolás del Caño of the Workers’ Left Front (2.1 percent), former army officer Juan José Gómez Centurión of the right-wing NOS Front (1.7 percent) and free-market enthusiast José Luis Espert of the Unite for Freedom and Dignity party (1.5 percent).

Fernández, whose running mate for vice president is former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (in office between 2007-15), was the clear favorite in the run-up to the ninth presidential election held since the South American nation transitioned to democracy.

In the primary elections held in August, the Justicialist duo trounced Macri and his running mate, Miguel Ángel Pichetto, by a 16-point lead.

Macri’s popularity has been steadily declining over the past year as his administration has been hampered by the country’s ongoing economic crisis.

Voter turnout stood at about 80.8 percent. In Argentina, voting is compulsory for citizens between the ages of 18 and 70. Suffrage was recently extended to 16- and 17-year-olds, though they are not compelled to vote until they come of age.

This preliminary tally is supervised by the interior ministry, meaning it is official but lacks any legal validity. The definitive results will be confirmed by an electoral tribunal following a formal tally set to begin Tuesday. (October 27, 2019, EFE/Practica Español)

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(Español) Comprehension

Lee la noticia y responde a las preguntas (Read the news and answer the questions)

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Question 1
Principalmente, en el texto se habla de... (Mainly, it's said in the text that...)
A
lo que dijo Macri en relación con la victoria de Fernández.
B
una reunión entre Macri y Fernández en la Casa Rosada.
C
la victoria de Alberto Fernández en las últimas elecciones generales en Argentina.
Question 2
En el texto se dice que... (It's said in the text that...)
A
no habrá una segunda vuelta en los comicios de Argentina.
B
Fernández comenzará a gobernar en Argentina antes de que acabe este mes.
C
Fernández ha ganado la primera vuelta pero tendrá que presentarse a la segunda.
Question 3
Según el texto... (According to the text...)
A
el presidente electo fue el que invitó al presidente saliente a reunirse con él.
B
el presidente saliente invitó al presidente electo para que se reúna con él en la Casa Rosada.
C
el presidente saliente obtuvo más del 45% de los votos.
Question 4
En el texto se dice que... (It's said in the text that...)
A
Fernández no quiere que los argentinos sufran.
B
Macri sabía que Fernández tenía muchas posibilidades de ganar en la primera vuelta.
C
se desmiente que haya una crisis en Argentina.
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