Keen to avoid any kind of turmoil, Argentina's high electoral court called on all the parties running in the presidential election on Sunday to be prudent with their public statements on election night and to wait for a clear trend in the results before making any kind of comments that could affect the vote.
Judges Santiago Corcuera, Alberto Dalla Vía and Rodofo Munné of the National Electoral Court made the request to representatives of the six presidential candidates in the race, underscoring that only the definitive recount carried out by the electoral justice has any legal value.
The provisional count, which is expected to be concluded around Sunday midnight, will dominate the headlines but if the results are tight it may not be possible to declare a president-elect. To win without a second round the winning candidate must muster 40% of the vote with at least a 10-point margin with the runner-up or win 45% of the vote outright.
Opinion polls in the run-up to the election suggest that the difference between Daniel Scioli of the Victory Front (FpV) and Mauricio Macri (Let’s Change) is hovering in that range.
The CNE also detailed the measures that have been taken to boost transparency in the electoral process since the August 9 primaries. The definitive recount is expected to take approximately one week to be completed. The provisional count is handled by the Argentine National Electoral Directorate, which is part of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights.
CNE called for cool heads shortly after Macri warned there is a “risk” that the irregularities seen in the Tucumán elections will be repeated as “archaic” paper ballots will be used once again. Macri was one of the key backers for José Cano, the UCR candidate in Tucuman who claimed that fraud had been committed against his bid to become governor, and was central to the brief unity seen in opposition candidates around the issue of electoral fraud.
The dispute toned down the rhetoric once a Tucumán appeals court and the provincial Supreme Court ruled that the results of the election were legitimate. Cano is appealing the decision, arguing that Governor-elect Juan Manzur of the FpV won the election through fraudulent means.