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Argentine power couple loses congressional vote

 Former Argentina's President Nestor Kirchner, right, waves to supporters after casting his ballot at a polling station in Buenos Aires, Sunday, June ...
 Former Argentina's President Nestor Kirchner, second from left, waits in line to cast his ballot at a polling station in Buenos Aires, Sunday, June 2...
 A Coast Guard, wearing a facemask as a precaution against swine flu, helps a woman to leave a polling station in Buenos Aires, Sunday, June 28, 2009....
 Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, holds up her ballot before casting it in Rio Gallegos, Argentina, Sunday, June 28, 2009. Allies...
 People, some wearing face masks as a precaution against swine flu, wait in line to cast their votes at a polling station in Buenos Aires, Sunday, Jun...
  A person casts his vote as election officers wear protective face masks as a precaution against swine flu, during midterm congressional elections in...
   People wait to cast their votes at a polling station in Buenos Aires, Sunday, June 28, 2009. Allies of Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez and...

Argentina Election

Former Argentina's President Nestor Kirchner, right, waves to supporters after casting his ballot at a polling station in Buenos Aires, Sunday, June ...

Argentina Election

Former Argentina's President Nestor Kirchner, second from left, waits in line to cast his ballot at a polling station in Buenos Aires, Sunday, June 2...

Argentina Election

A Coast Guard, wearing a facemask as a precaution against swine flu, helps a woman to leave a polling station in Buenos Aires, Sunday, June 28, 2009....

Argentina Election

Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, holds up her ballot before casting it in Rio Gallegos, Argentina, Sunday, June 28, 2009. Allies...

Argentina Elections

People, some wearing face masks as a precaution against swine flu, wait in line to cast their votes at a polling station in Buenos Aires, Sunday, Jun...

CORRECTION Argentina Election

A person casts his vote as election officers wear protective face masks as a precaution against swine flu, during midterm congressional elections in...

CORRECTION Argentina Election

People wait to cast their votes at a polling station in Buenos Aires, Sunday, June 28, 2009. Allies of Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez and...

Argentina's first couple suffered a stunning setback in an election seen as a referendum on their political dynasty, losing control of both houses of Congress.
The loss in Sunday's election weakened President Cristina Fernandez's government two years before she leaves office by diminishing her ability to push legislation through Congress and damaging the reputation of her Peronist party as it seeks direction ahead of 2011's presidential race.
Fernandez's husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, lost a bid for a seat from Buenos Aires province. The setbacks could kick off a power struggle within the party, which Kirchner has headed since 2007.
Kirchner conceded defeat early Monday in the race for a seat from Buenos Aires province, where he took 32.2 percent of the vote to Francisco De Narvaez' 34.5 percent, with 91 percent of the ballots counted.
"We have lost by a small margin, we have fought with all our dignity in Buenos Aires province," Kirchner said. "In the coming days everyone will be evaluating the choices and mistakes that have taken place."
De Narvaez of the Union Pro alliance, a charismatic millionaire and sitting congressman who is part of a growing anti-Fernandez faction in the president's Peronist party, was jubilant.
"I said one day we would change history, and that day is today," he said at his campaign headquarters. "The bad politics of old has been defeated.
Allies of the first couple also lost key races in the city of Buenos Aires and Cordoba and Santa Fe provinces.
With her approval ratings dropping dramatically this year amid a farmbelt crisis and economic meltdown, Fernandez arranged for congressional elections to be held four months early. She defended it as a way to let lawmakers get a jump-start on dealing with economic difficulties, but her foes blasted it as an attempt to shore up congressional support before her numbers eroded even further.


Updated : 2021-03-05 00:22 GMT+08:00