Patricia Bullrich called on her political allies to ratify “the values” of the Juntos por el Cambio coalition on Sunday night as she conceded defeat in the presidential election.
The opposition presidential candidate, who welled up with tears as she delivered a concession speech to supporters, finished third in the race and did not progress to the run-off, taking just over 23 percent of the vote.
Bullrich, 67, said she regretted that Juntos por el Cambio had not achieved the "objectives we wanted for our Argentina" but said that her "cause goes beyond an electoral moment and a moment of defeat.”
She acknowledged her disappointment yet highlighted the unity of her coalition in defeat.
"We have come to ratify, with all our strength, the values of our cause, which goes beyond an electoral moment and a defeat," said Bullrich.
Lashing out at Peronism and Kirchnerism, which she promised to “end” on the campaign trail, Bullrich accused "populism" of having "impoverished the country" and said that the opposition coalition will "represent the values of those who voted for us today.”
"Our values cannot be sold or bought, we are not going to negotiate, we are going to be the change whenever Argentina needs it," said Bullrich, who came third in Sunday's elections and out of the second round.
The mood at the Juntos por el Cambio bunker at Parque Norte, in Buenos Aires, had plummeted as rumours of the results began to trickle in.
The coalition’s top brass began to arrive, most with long faces and preferring not to talk to the waiting media.
Bullrich’s poor performance and failure to significantly improve on her coalition’s results in the primaries was topped off by an even poorer performance by Juntos por el Cambio’s candidate for Buenos Aires Province governor, Néstor Grindetti, who trailed incumbent Axel Kicillof by almost 20 points.