President Mauricio Macri has conceded defeat in Argentina’s presidential election, extending a hand to Peronist victor Alberto Fernández and inviting him to discuss the upcoming transition.
Describing his Peronist rival as "the president-elect," Macri revealed that he had called Fernández to congratulate him on his victory and invited him to the Casa Rosada for breakfast tomorrow to discuss the transition.
“I want to congratulate president-elect Alberto Fernández, I’ve just come from congratulating him for the great election they had,” said Macri, referring to a telephone conversation.
"I invited him to have breakfast tomorrow at the Casa Rosada because he has to start a period of orderly transition that brings tranquility to Argentines," he added from the stage of his party' bunker.
The crowd booed, but Macri asked them to stop.
“I know tonight is an emotional night, but I truly want to tell you all that this is just starting. More than ever, we are going to be there, together, to defend the values that we believe in. Dialogue, respect, honesty, decency, and taking care of our democracy and Republic,“ he said.
"Here the only important thing is the future and the tranquility of Argentines," said Macri.
“We learned a lot these past four years, and especially these past months. What is coming is also going to be a learning curve, and I know it will be a good one,” Macri told the crowd from his party's bunker in Costa Salguero.
“Thanks to the work we’ve accomplished these past years, the country is in a better place.”
As Macri took to the stage, results showed that with 91 percent of votes counted, Fernández, a 60-year-old law professor, had 47.84 percent of votes – crossing the threshold for outright victory. Macri trailed on 40.65 percent.
Roberto Lavagna trailed way behind in third with 6.17 percent, aghead of Frente de Izquierda left-winger Nicolás Del Caño on 2.13 percent.
Juan Gómez Centurión and José Luis Espert both recorded under two percent of the vote.
To win outright, Fernández required 45 percent, or 40 percent with a 10 point margin over his nearest rival.
Fernández's win also caps a remarkable political comeback for his running mate, ex-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who will be his vice-president.
Thousands of ecstatic Fernández supporters cheered and danced outside his Frente de Todos party headquarters in Buenos Aires.
"It's a great day for Argentina," a smiling Fernández told reporters after exit polls and his own party's tallies, had given him victory.