Cristina Kirchner, the wife of the president, announces she is running for his job.
For an outright victory, a candidate needs 45 per cent of the ballots, or at least 40 per cent with a 10-point lead, otherwise a run-off poll will be held on November 25.
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Whoever the 27 million registered Argentinian voters pick as the president on Sunday will have to address problems of high inflation and low foreign investment.
In a speech at her final campaign rally in La Matanza, a Buenos Aires suburb, on Thursday, Fernandez focused on Nestor Kirchner’s, her husband and the current president, legacy.
She pledged to “deepen” his economic policies which helped pull Argentina of out a 2002 financial crisis that sent the middle-class into poverty.
“Many of the dreams that we had, we have begun to achieve … I call on you this Sunday for the dreams that are unrealised,” she said, speaking almost entirely of Kirchner’s achievements instead of her own plans.
“The changes that remain are deep and so the people have to be united.”
Supporters had allegedly been paid around
Fernandez, 54, has often been compared to the US senator and former first lady Hillary Clinton, but says she does not like the reference.
Kirchner, whose government has been implicated in a series of corruption scandals, has not explained why he is not running for a second term other than saying he is stepping down because he is tired.
Lavagna, in wrapping up his campaign at a low-income housing project, also attacked Fernandez saying, “We don’t know what plans she has. She hasn’t said anything.”
The closest rival to Fernandez is former legislator Elisa Carrio, who is campaigning on an anti-corruption platform.
“The Argentina that is coming is not the Argentina offered up by the marketing campaigns of others,” she said.