President is fighting back after stunning loss in primary vote
Thousands of Argentines marched in support of President Mauricio Macri’s re-election on Saturday in a boost for his campaign following his stunning defeat in primary elections earlier this month.
Supporters marched through downtown Buenos Aires to the Plaza de Mayo square in front of the presidential palace, where Macri emerged to greet them from a balcony draped with the blue and white Argentine flag.
Chanting "We can be better" and "Let's go together," a crowd that greatly exceeded expectations swelled outside the presidential palace in Buenos Aires just two weeks after a left-leaning presidential ticket turned in a far stronger showing than Macri's slate in political party primary voting.
An emotional Macri emerged on a balcony of the Casa Rosada to acknowledge his supporters, who responded to calls on social media to get out in the streets.
The outpouring by his backers underlined the division and polarization in Argentina, where many voters used the Aug. 11 primary elections to show support for Alberto Fernández and his vice presidential running mate, former President Cristina Fernández. The two Fernández, who are not related, got 47.6% of the total votes cast, while Macri's slate was 15 points back.
Many Argentines are upset with Macri, who won the last election after campaigning on promises to get the economy going again, but inflation still runs at more than 40% a year and the currency has slumped while austerity moves by his government have angered many people.
But others worry a victory by the Fernández team will bring back the populist policies that characterized the presidency of Cristina Fernández, in which Alberto Fernández served as her first chief of staff. After the primary elections, Argentine stock prices fell and the already weak peso dropped 35% in three days.
"Macri I give you 4 more years, Cristina we have given you enough," one banner proclaimed Saturday.
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