Governor María Eugenia Vidal vowed to keep fighting for Buenos Aires Province on Sunday night, after results in Argentina's election showed she had lost control of the country's most-populous province. After four years in office, voters elected her opponent, Frente de Todos candidate Axel Kicillof.
With 90 percent of votes counted, the former economy minister had taken a resounding 52.11 percent of the vote, an outright victory in the first round. Vidal took 38.58 percent.
In a concession speech from the stage of the Juntos por el Cambio bunker in Costa Saguero, she thanked President Macri for his support as well as her constituents for the trust they had placed in her: “You never left me alone,” she said.
Citing her devotion to a democratic system, Vidal congratulated Kicillof, urged him to usher in a true “democratic transition,” and thanked those who voted for the other candidates.
“Electing other forces is our opportunity to listen and continue learning,” she said.
Axel Kicillof spoke from the Frente de Todos bunker in Chacarita shortly after the Vidal’s speech ended, kicking off celebrations for president-elect Alberto Fernández and vice-president-elect Cristina Fernández de Kirchner with a spiky speech full of barbs at the national and provincial adminstrations.
“It was a categorical victory in the provinces and in the nation,” he said, referring to a defeat sizeable enough to avoid a second round of votes.
Nationally, with roughly 93 percent of the votes counted, Fernández and Fernández had obtained 47.9 percent of the vote. Macri and his running mate Miguel Pichetto had won 40.6 percent, with most of the votes remaining expected to fall for the Frente de Todos ticket.
“Popular mobilisation won today,” Kicillof said, celebrating the victory of the populists campaign.
“They doubled the debt and unemployment,” he added, referring to the government under Mauricio Macri and the growth in external debt to 58 percent of the country’s GDP.
But, even in her concession, Vidal stood behind her party and her platform, touting her achievements of the last four years.
“We will keep going because we believe in an alternative way for our children, our parents and for everyone we love,” she said to the sombre yet supportive crowd.
In her closing remarks, Vidal was resolute, vowing to return to the fight after much-needed rest.
“God is giving me a break so I can recuperate my strength and we can return to fight the fights that remain,” she said.