Argentina's former president Carlos Menem and governor Nestor Kirchner will be disputing next May 18 the second round of presidential elections, the first time ever the ballotage system is applied in Argentina since established in the 1994 Constitution.
With over 85% of the vote counted Mr. Menem won 24,1% of the vote and Mr. Kirchner 22%, with an unexpected showing of Mr. Ricardo López Murphy 18,5% who came in third..
With over 82,000 security forces ensuring that today's presidential election in Argentina, the tightest in recent history, will develop normally and peacefully, caretaker president Eduardo Duhalde is preparing for the day after.
International Monetary Fund officials have openly supported Uruguay's economic program and the voluntary exchange program currently under consideration by creditors.
During February economic activity in Argentina increased 5,8% over a year ago and 1,8% over January according to the latest release from the National Census and Statistics Institute, INDEC. Similarly the first two months of 2003 showed a 5% recovery over the same period in 2002.
Alan Greenspan said he would accept a fifth term as chairman of the Federal Reserve, the world's most influential central bank. Mr. Greenspan's comments, in a short statement, follow President George W. Bush public recommendation that he stay on the job for a fifth term.
If the Argentine presidential election this coming Sunday is as contested as anticipated by opinion polls and a run off is needed May 18, it's not completely certain that caretaker president Eduardo Duhalde will be handing the presidential sash to his elected successor on May 25 as current legislation anticipates.
After enduring a full year of political and financial scandals involving former associates, this week Chilean president Ricardo Lagos administration has been forced to openly support Minister of Defence Michelle Bachelet who allegedly in the mid eighties was active in a terrorist group combating the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.
Argentina will formally request next month before the Paris based International Office of Epizooties that the country be considered free of foot and mouth disease with vaccination.
The United States government had a record deficit of 252,6 billion US dollars during the first half of fiscal 2003 indicated the Treasury Department. March was the most significant month with a 58,7 billion deficit following an expenditure increase of 6,6% and a 6,1% fall in revenue.
The Chilean Navy will launch its surface fleet renewal program at the end of 2003 when a short list of two/three of the current eleven shipyards interested, will be chosen said Admiral Miguel Angel Vergara in Santiago.