Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has won re-election in a landslide victory, on the back of strong economic growth in the country. Ms Fernandez secured nearly 54% of vote, with her closest challenger, socialist Hermes Binner on just 17%.
Ms Fernandez told jubilant supporters in Buenos Aires’ Plaza de Mayo that she wanted to keep Argentina growing. She also made an emotional reference to her late husband, former president Nestor Kirchner, who died a year ago.
“Count on me to continue pursuing the project,” she said, watched by supporters on a huge TV screen. “All I want is to keep collaborating … to keep Argentina growing. I want to keep changing history.” Her critics say she has benefited from a weak and fragmented opposition in this election. But Ms Fernandez, 58, has presided over strong economic growth and pursued popular social policies.
The sudden death of Nestor Kirchner in October 2010 brought her a wave of public sympathy.
“This is a strange night for me,” Ms Fernandez told her jubilant supporters. “This man who transformed Argentina led us all and gave everything he had and more. Without him, without his valour and courage, it would have been impossible to get to this point.”
Ms Fernandez may also regain control of Congress, which she lost in mid-term elections in 2009.