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Primary win boosts reelection prospects for Argentine's Fernandez

(Xinhua)

08:36, August 16, 2011

BUENOS AIRES, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Argentine President Cristina Fernandez appears well on track to win a second term in October after trouncing her rivals in Sunday's primary election, results showed on Monday.

With 62.19 percent of polling stations counted, Fernandez gained 49.35 percent of the vote, about 37 percentage points ahead of her closest contender Ricardo Alfonsin, a deputy of the Radical party, according to the Interior Ministry official Web page.

Trailing further behind was former peronist President Eduardo Duhalde who got 12.14 percent.

"It is the love that wins," said the 58-year-old Fernandez, a member of the Peronist party, in a speech at the Intercontinental Hotel in Buenos Aires.

"It is a recognition of all the work, effort and everything that has been accomplished during the past eight years," she said.

The primary was introduced in 2009 with the aim of strengthening the country's democracy by obliging all political parties to let people choose their candidates.

Fernandez, widow of the late former president Nestor Kirchner (2003-2007), will need 40 percent of the vote plus a 10-point lead over her nearest rival in the Oct. 23 election to avoid a run-off, or she can win outright with 45 percent of the vote.

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