Double victory for Cristina Fernandez and the 'Kirchnerite' model: her candidates won the governorship in the northern province of Chaco and the Tucuman Supreme Court validated the result which confirmed that former Healthcare minister Juan Manzur last 23 August was the clear winner and the next governor of the province.
Although both provinces have very little ballot weight, they are a boost for the incumbent candidates ahead of the presidential and legislative elections of 25 October.
In effect Kirchnerite contender Domingo Peppo was easily elected governor of Chaco province after receiving 53.35% of the votes in a closely-watched election where, despite widespread fears following the disputed Tucumán vote, no major incidents were reported.
Peppo, the leader of the ruling Chaco Merece Más front, defeated opposition candidate Aída Ayala, who received support from PRO, Radical (UCR) and Renewal Front and garnered 43.81% of the votes, with 65.13% of polling stations reporting.
The final difference is likely to be wider as a significant portion of votes from the province’s interior, largely seen as more favorable to the pro-government coalition, had yet to be tallied at press time.
There was plenty of celebration in the province as outgoing Chaco Governor Jorge Capitanich also won the mayoral race for the capital of Resistencia, defeating Ayala’s protegé Leandro Zdero from Vamos Chaco by a slim five-point margin.
“Thank you to workers, businessmen, neighbors, indigenous communities,” Capitanich told supporters at the Justicialist (PJ) party headquarters on Sunday night. He was flanked by Legal and Technical Secretary Carlos Zannini, who called on opposition parties to respect the democratic rules after their recent claims of fraud. The Peronist march blasted out from the loudspeakers to close the rally.
Cabinet Chief Anibal Fernández, Economy Minister Axel Kicillof and Labour Minister Carlos Tomada travelled to the province to celebrate the Kirchnerite victory in the last gubernatorial race before the October 25 general elections.
Much of the attention on Sunday was on the security of the election following the weeks-long debate over the validity of the gubernatorial race in Tucumán.
“Elections were carried out completely normally, with only very minor incidents,” Capitanich told reporters minutes after 6pm. He explained that more than 3,300 police officers and 1,200 Border Guard officers were deployed for the election.
Meanwhile the Supreme Court of Justice of the province of Tucumán early Monday morning reversed a ruling issued last week by the Administrative Appeals Court which had nullified the gubernatorial elections held on August 23 amid accusations of fraud from opposition parties.
The decision ratified the results that gave Victory Front candidate Juan Manzur the victory by a 12 point margin over the Agreement for the Bicentennial candidate, Radical lawmaker José Cano.
The unanimous ruling, reported past midnight Sunday, revoked an unprecedented decision by justices Salvador Ruiz and Ebe López Piossek, who on September 16 nullified the elections and ordered the provincial Executive to call for new elections.
It also lifted a cautionary measure which prevented the Provincial Electoral Board to proclaim the winners, Victory Front representative Marcelo Caponio told Telam news agency.