According to CNN, opposition candidate Mauricio Macri is poised to become Argentina’s next President after a runoff vote that marks the end of a political dynasty.
“Thank you for believing in me. … I am here because you have decided,” a triumphant Macri said from his campaign headquarters Sunday night as throngs of supporters erupted in cheers.
“Today is a historic day,” he said, “a new era.”
With more than 98% of votes counted, Macri of the Let’s Change coalition had won 51.4% of votes, while Scioli had garnered nearly 48.6%, election officials said.
Macri spoke shortly after Daniel Scioli, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s hand-picked successor, conceded defeat.
In his victory speech Sunday night, Macri promised he’d work to eliminate poverty in Argentina and change the way business is done.
“I also want to say to our Latin American brothers and our brothers around the world, that we want to have good relationships with all countries,” he said. “We want to work with everyone. We know that the Argentine people have much to bring to the world, and we hope to find an agenda of cooperation.”
The state-run Telam news agency reported late Sunday that Fernandez had congratulated Macri for his election win and planned to meet with the president-elect Tuesday.
“Cristina divided the country and destroyed it morally,” said Dimitri Javakhishvili, 67, an immigrant from Georgia who works as a doorman at a building here in the neighborhood of Recoleta to The NYT.
“At least he’s something new; he’s something fresh”, he added.
“Winning feels great, but so does recognition,” said Hernan Iglesias, a speech writer for Macri. “We were underdogs for a long time. So this feels like a political upset.”
“I’m very happy we have recovered hope,” said Jackie Fox to The Guardian, a psychological counsellor who was among the supporters in the bunker, “It’s the beginning of a new era. This is the end of corruption. We have someone who doesn’t need to become richer than he already is.”
Macri has promised to strengthen institutions, introduce more pro-business policies, cut deals with foreign creditors and realign Argentina’s foreign policy away from Venezuela and Iran and closer to the US. He has also indicated that he will adopt a less confrontational stance over the Falkland Islands.