Argentina’s first lady is claiming victory in the country’s presidential election. Exit polls and preliminary official results suggest Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has just over 43 percent support. Under Argentine law, that is enough to avoid a second round runoff vote next month. The 54-year-old ran on the record of her leftist husband Nestor, the outgoing president, and is set to take over from him in a highly unusual transfer of power between democratically elected spouses.
Accompanied on the platform by Segolene Royal, France’s recent leftist presidential candidate, Kirchner affirmed her commitment to equal rights.
“A country is not only built by its government,” she said.
“It needs a strong society as well. I call on all Argentineans to come together and help construct a new social framework and new image of our country. I feel like I have a great responsibility, not only as a political leader who will guide the country but also as a woman.”
There were jubilant scenes at the campaign headquarters as Kirchner made her speech.
Former leftist lawmaker Elisa Carrio is reported as being in second place on around 20 percent of the vote followed by former economy minister Roberto Lavagna on 19 percent.