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Voting starts in Argentina, Fernandez favored

Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 01:49

Oct. 23 - Voting started in Argentina on Sunday as center-left President Cristina Fernandez appeared ready to win a blowout re-election victory. Deborah Lutterbeck reports

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Voting begins in Argentina as center-left President Cristina Fernandez appears ready to win a blowout re-election victory that could lead to more state intervention in the economy. The combative 58-year-old leader has snapped back from the low approval ratings that dogged her during much of her first term. She has been helped by an economy growing at about 8 percent annually. Polls show Fernandez taking a landslide victory on Sunday, with enough votes to avoid a runoff. That would give her a mandate to continue with policies that have riled pro-market farmers and business leaders. She may also regain the control of Congress that she lost in the 2009 mid-term election. The sharp-tongued former senator has nationalized private pension funds, raised taxes on soy exports and kept quotas on wheat and corn shipments. Growers say such interventionist measures dampen much-needed investment in agriculture, which is the country's top source of hard currency. To win re-election on Sunday, Fernandez needs at least 45 percent of the vote or just 40 percent with a lead of 10 percentage points over her closest rival. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters

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Voting starts in Argentina, Fernandez favored

Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 01:49