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15 August, 2017

Argentina's Cristina Fernandez claims primary victory after slow count

Former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and President Mauricio Macri's candidate are virtually tied in Argentina’s congressional primaries leading up to the October election.

With 95.58 percent of votes in Buenos Aires province counted – home to nearly 40 percent of Argentina's electorate – the ruling party led by Macri's former Education Minister Esteban Bullrich had captured 34.19 percent while Fernandez was within a whisker with 34.11 percent.

Though there has been no official declaration, Fernandez took the stage at a rally around 4:00 a.m. to claim victory as well as criticize the pace of the vote count.

"I never imagined I would have to ask for forgiveness from all Argentines for this embarrassment," she said. "It's an offense to democracy."

There have been denunciations that the flow of information from the electoral authorities was manipulated, holding back results from poorer, pro-Fernandez areas. such as Santa Fe, home of Kichnerism.

Regardless of the final outcome, the candidates will now face each other in the congressional elections in October, when Argentines will elect one-third of the senate and half the chamber of deputies.

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