Duhalde beats Rodríguez Saá in dissident PJ primaries by narrow margin
With both candidates sitting together in the Duhalde campaign headquarters, officials announced that former president Eduardo Duhalde had managed to beat Alberto Rodríguez Saá for 248 votes in the first Federal Peronism regional primaries that took place in the city of Buenos Aires.
While offering a press conference in his campaign headquarters in Recoleta, Duhalde assured that he was “very happy” with the election.
Results indicated that a large percentage of voters in the northern areas of the city voted for Duhalde, while Rodríguez Saá seemed to be the favourite in the southern areas of the city, such as Villa Lugano or Villa Soldati.
Officials estimate that over 33,704 voters approached the polling stations in order to cast their ballots, and 16,976 votes went to Eduardo Duhalde, while 16,728 votes went to Alberto Rodríguez Saá.
Eduardo Duhalde obtained a 50.37 percent of the votes, while Rodríguez Saá obtained a 49.63 percent.
Earlier, polls in the city closed after an election day that drew “a higher turnout than expected,” officials in the Rodríguez Saá campaign said.
The peronist dissidents began their early primaries in order to decide on the party’s presidential candidate and first estimates indicated that over 200 people voted in every poll station located in the 15 different precincts available throughout the city.
The precincts were open from 9 am to 6 pm, while presidential precandidates Eduardo Duhalde and Adolfo Rodríguez Saá awaited the election results in their respective city headquarters.
When asked about the election, Duhalde told the press that, according to the official recount, both candidates had garnered a similar amount of votes
Even though Duhalde campaign officials had earlier stated that the former president was leading in the polls with a 70 percent of the votes, Duhalde himself was forced to later offer a new statement in which he admitted that Rodriguez Saá “had performed very well” in the election.
After the polls closed, Duhalde offered a press conference in which he said he was "surprised in a good way” due to the large amount of voters who approached the precincts in the city.
“In some polling stations there were 100-metre long lines,” he assured.
He also said that many independent voters took part in the elections, and then ruled out any possibility that City Mayor Mauricio Macri may have supported his candidacy.
“No way,” he said. “Macri doesn’t understand how the primaries work. He’s never been a part of one, so it’s impossible,” he said.
“Whoever is chosen, he will be strengthened by the result and will gather over 20 percent of the votes,” Duhalde assured, although he considered that the other two Federal Peronism presidential hopefuls Felipe Solá and Mario Das Neves “would hardly take part in the August primaries.”
At the same time, Rodríguez Saá stated that he would not only beat Eduardo Duhalde in the primaries, but also PRO leader Mauricio Macri, because “there’s a cooperation agreement between them that has not yet been made public.”
“I will honestly be able to say that I beat Duhalde and Macri,” he said as he entered a Recoleta precinct with his girlfriend, model Delfina Frers, who was there to vote.
The election results are expected to be available to the public “two hours after the precincts close.”
Additional regional primaries will take place in the next few weeks in several other provinces and will conclude on May 29th in the Buenos Aires province.