lunes, 28 de octubre de 2013

Argentine President's coalition keeps narrow lead in legislative polls

Argentines voted on 27 October to renew half the seats in the lower legislative chamber and a third of the Senate, with results interpreted as a defeat for the Victory Front (Frente para la Victoria) backing President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner even as it kept its two majorities. Mrs Kirchner's socialist policies have increasingly irked the middle class, although the opposition consisted of a range of parties including dissident groups inside the Justicialist Party. Justicialism is a historical movement encompassing a range of tendencies and includes the current presidential coalition. With almost 97 per cent of votes counted, the Front had won just over 33 per cent of votes cast, which gave it 132 of 257 seats in the Chamber of Deputies or lower house, Europa Press reported on 28 October. The leftist Radical Civic Union or UCR (Unión Cívica Radical) and allies including the Socialists now had 54 parliamentarians, the Frente Renovador Massa, a centre-right current of Justicialism formed in 2013 by the mayor of Tigre Sergio Massa, 19 seats, and Propuesta Republicana or PRO led by the Buenos Aires mayor Mauricio Macri just over nine per cent of votes and 18 seats. In the Senate, a count of just under 78 per cent of votes left the FpV with 39 of 72 seats, down from 41 it held so far, and the UCR-Socialist block 19 seats, Clarín reported on 28 October. Mr Macri's PRO group was expected to win three senatorial seats, having none so far, Clarín reported. Senators were elected for six years and parliamentarians for four years, with both chambers holding respective elections to renew a third and half their members every two years. Vice-President Amado Boudou was cited as saying that the results gave 40 million Argentines "certainties" that the government would continue to care for jobs and national production, Europa Press and Télam reported on 28 October. Some opponents were cited as qualifying his interpretation of results as unrealistic.

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