Prensa estadounidense

Los medios los Estados Unidos escriben de los primeros resultos en las elecciones argentinas. Notas de: Bloomberg Press y Associated Press.


Argentine First Lady Fernandez Wins, Exit Polls Show
Eliana Raszewski and Bill Faries
Bloomberg Press
28 de octubre 2007

Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) — Argentine Senator Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was elected president today to succeed her husband, Nestor Kirchner, promising to maintain policies that cut unemployment to a 15-year low, exit polls show.
Fernandez received 46.3 percent of ballots, enough to avoid a second-round vote, an exit poll by Todo Noticias television station showed. Ex-congresswoman Elisa Carrio, her closest rival, won 23.7 percent and former Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna won 13.1 percent. Victory would make Fernandez Argentina’s first elected woman president.
“We saw a vote for the continuity of economic policies that have helped to improve social conditions in the country,” said Carlos Fara, director of Buenos-Aires based pollster Carlos Fara & Asociados.
Fernandez, 54, has said little about how she plans to address the country’s energy shortages and quickening inflation, arguing both are natural outcomes of economic growth. Under Kirchner, 57, the economy expanded 9 percent annually as it bounced back from a four-year recession. In 2002, before Kirchner took office, gross domestic product shrank 11 percent, and the peso lost 70 percent of its value. The collapse followed Argentina’s decision to default on $95 billion of debt in late 2001.
A separate exit poll by Cronica television station gave Fernandez 46 percent, compared with 25 percent for Carrio. Buenos Aires-based C5N television station also said Fernandez won the election.
“After what we went through in 2001, it’s very good to have normal elections,” President Kirchner said, before he and his wife cast their ballots this morning in the Patagonian city of Rio Gallegos.
Fernandez, who has spent six years in the Senate, campaigned on the slogan “The Change Has Just Begun” and a pledge to “deepen” her husband’s policies.
“The basis for Fernandez’s support is clearly a desire for continuity with Kirchner policies that produced economic growth,” said political analyst Fabian Perechodnik at Buenos Aires polling company Poliarquia Consultores.
Kirchner’s mix of price controls, government spending and dollar purchases to keep exports competitive rescued the country, Fernandez said. Unemployment dropped from 22 percent in 2002 to 8.5 percent in the second quarter of this year. GDP grew 40 percent from 2003 through 2006.
In a speech on Oct. 24, Fernandez responded to opponents’ complaints that the economy is overheating, fueling inflation, while lack of investment in the energy industry because of rate caps has left the country short of power. Lavagna, 65, who was Kirchner’s economy minister until November 2005, has said the real rate of inflation is double the official 8.6 percent.
“We understand that we can’t stop economic growth,” Fernandez told business executives in Cordoba. “There’s no way to regulate the level of growth as if we had a switch.”
More investment will solve the “tensions caused by growth,” she said.
Fernandez, running as the candidate of a coalition she and Kirchner founded in 2003, never held a news conference during the campaign and didn’t issue a platform. She only sat for interviews in the last two days of the campaign. Her television ads focused on the contrast between conditions today and during the 2001 crisis.
Fernandez’s support is drawn mostly from unions, the poor and the lower-middle class, the traditional base for Peronists, politicians who adhere to the ideas of Juan Domingo Peron, Argentina’s three-time president between 1946 and 1974, said Luciana Grandi, a political analyst at polling company Ipsos Mora y Araujo in Buenos Aires.
Opposition candidates have focused on rising consumer prices. Lavagna, Kirchner’s chief strategist for restructuring $104 billion in defaulted debt, said price controls failed to stem inflation. He said he’d tighten monetary and fiscal policies.
Carrio, 50, who pledged to name former Central Bank President Alfonso Prat-Gay her economy minister, proposed slowing growth to about 6 percent.
Both agreed with workers at the National Statistics Institute who say inflation data has been rigged since January when Kirchner replaced the official in charge of calculating the consumer price index.
While Fernandez said the index is accurate, Argentina’s benchmark inflation-linked bonds have tumbled 24 percent this year, making the country’s debt market the worst performer in the world, according to data compiled by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bloomberg.
In Congress, controlled by the Kirchners’ coalition, Fernandez took the lead in shepherding government legislation. Last year she pushed through a bill giving the president power to alter budgeted spending without Congressional approval, a measure former President Raul Alfonsin, from the opposition Radical Party, said meant the “death of the Republic.”
Fernandez also steered through a law giving the governing party more control of the board that nominates federal judges.
Early Returns: Argentine First Lady Wins
Bill Cormier
Associated Press
28 de octubre 2007

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Several major exit polls suggested that first lady Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner won the presidency Sunday by a large enough margin to avoid a runoff. She would be the first woman in Argentina elected to the post.
art.jpg
Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner shows the envelope before casting her vote at a polling station.
Official results were due later Sunday in the race between the heavily favored Fernandez and 13 rivals.
Fernandez’s husband, President Nestor Kirchner, is credited with Argentina’s rebound from a 2001 economic collapse, and much of her support is due to his popularity.
She has been compared to U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who like her is a lawyer and senator who soldiered alongside a husband as he rose from small-state governor to his nation’s presidency.
Her closest challengers, former lawmaker Elisa Carrio and former Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna, were trying to force her into a November 25 runoff. She needed 40 percent of the vote, with a lead of more than 10 percent over her nearest rival, to win outright.
Five independent television networks and at least one private radio station reported their exit polling indicated Fernandez has easily won a first-round victory. Three of the television networks released their numbers, giving Fernandez between 42 and 46 percent of the vote, with advantages of between 19 and 23 percentage points over Carrio.
But no opposition candidates conceded defeat, and some said there had been unprecedented fraud. A Lavagna spokesman said the candidate would file a judicial complaint about a “systematic lack of ballots” marked with his name. Candidate Vilma Ripoll denounced “ballot stealing.”
Electoral officials denied any irregularities, but a judge extended voting by an hour in the capital after many of Argentina’s 12,700 polling stations opened late. A representative of the ruling party was arrested on suspicion of trying to vote twice.
At Fernandez’s campaign headquarters, supporters jumped up and down and embraced one another.
“I’m so excited,” screamed Maria Isabel Francia, a 50-year-old street merchant. “Cristina is going to pull us out of poverty!”
The next president, who begins a four-year term on December 10, faces challenges including high inflation, an energy shortage and rampant crime. And the legacy of the economic crisis can still be seen in high unemployment and widespread poverty in a country that a century ago ranked among the world’s 10 richest.
Fernandez refused to debate and spent much of the campaign abroad in photo-ops with world leaders. Her chic European dresses and designer bags drew comparisons with “Evita” Peron, another fashion-conscious and politically influential Argentine first lady.
Fernandez has rejected such comparisons.
“I don’t want to be compared with Hillary Clinton or with Evita Peron, or with anybody,” she said recently. “There’s nothing better than being yourself.”
The first couple voted early in the province of Santa Cruz, where he was a three-term governor, before heading back to the capital to await the outcome. Fernandez told the crowd of reporters that voting was especially joyful for her because she grew up under the 1976-83 dictatorship.
“I’m part of a generation that grew up in a country in which nobody could say anything, so we value this in a very special way,” she said.
advertisement
Voters were also filling dozens of House and Senate seats and nine governorships. Exit polls indicated Vice President Daniel Scioli won the governorship of Buenos Aires province, the country’s second most powerful post.
Argentina’s 27.1 million registered voters are required by law to cast ballots, and one couple showed up to vote early in a car festooned with “just married” signs. The bride wore a white wedding dress and the groom a black tuxedo as they filled out their ballots.