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Fernandez promises to build a ‘new Argentina’ after storming to victory in primary elections

CENTRE-LEFT presidential candidate Alberto Fernandez promised to build a “new Argentina” after he and running mate Cristina Kirchner stormed to victory in the country’s primary elections last night.

The pair delivered a crushing blow to right-wing President Mauricio Macri as their left-wing alliance,  Frente de Todos, polled 47.22 per cent of the vote.

Mr Macri conceded he had “suffered a bad election” as he trailed in second place with 32.1 percent of the vote.

He vowed to “redouble” his efforts to secure victory in October’s presidential elections.

Nationwide primary elections were introduced in 2011 for all parties and are a barometer for how Argentinians are likely to vote in the country’s general election on October 27.

Mr Macri’s popularity was seriously damaged after it was revealed his personal wealth had massively increased while inflicting harsh austerity measures.

He has been accused of being “owned” by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by his rival Mr Fernandez. 

In 2018 Argentina received the biggest loan in IMF history, at $57.1 billion (£47.2bn).

In return Mr Macri made a commitment to zero deficit for 2019 and introduced limits on central bank actions.

But it has failed to achieve results with inflation running at 55 per cent.

Argentinians blame the IMF for the 2001 financial crisis which pushed millions into poverty and saw the military take to the streets to quell popular protests.

Speaking in Buenos Aires after the result Mr Fernandez said: “Argentinians realised we are the change, not them,” and vowed “to end this time of lies and give a new horizon.”

Ms Kirchner said: “We know of the difficult moment that the country is going through, of millions of Argentines who have lost their jobs, we have talked with so many, we know what it is. 

“This gives us the responsibility that we have to reach everyone to give them absolute peace of mind.”

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