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ARGENTINA | 28-04-2019 17:05

Ex-governor Bonfatti secures tight win in primaries race in Santa Fe province

Despite securing the highest number of votes, Bonfatti must now contend with a combined Peronist vote of above 40 percent.

All eyes were on Santa Fe province late Sunday night after voters headed to the polls for a primaries contest to define candidates for the province's June general and governatorial elections.

With 75.16 percent of votes counted, Socialist former governor Antonio Bonafatti, who is also the province's sitting Lower House speaker, scored the highest number of voters with 31.87 percent, according to the Electoral Council.

Peronist contenders Omar Perotti and María Eugenía Bielsa secured 28.52 and 13.94 percent of the vote respectively.

With Bielsa now out of the race and assuming her voters would move to fellow Peronist Perotti, former governor Bonfatti must contend with a combined Peronist vote of above 40 percent.

"Today, the people of Santa Fe voted and the everyone's desire is for the vote to happen in peace and transparently", Bonfatti wrote on Twitter.

"I wish to salute the electoral authorities at every polling state and at the school which welcomed me for mine, and to those who guarantee elections can take place at the province's many schools", he added.

Bonfatti added that his focus would be on "jobs" as campaigning heats up before June.

PEROTTI WINS

The only party using yesterday's primaries to determine their candidate for June was the Peronist Party, which chose Omar Perotti over María Eugenia Bielsa.

Perotti said the Peronist party would approach June's elections with "unity."

The candidate for President Mauricio Macri's Cambiemos (Let's Change) coalition, José Corral, came in fourth with around 18 percent.

Corral said Cambiemos' poor positioning on the voting slips had hindered their chances. Prior to the vote, he called for residents to "take their time" looking over the slips. It wasn't enough.

BACKGROUND

Bonfatti's Progressive Front has governed Santa Fe, the country's third most populous, since 2007.

He was governor from 2011 to 2015 but could not run for re-election due to the provincial Constitution's restrictions on consecutive terms.

-TIMES

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