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Argentina Presidential Election Heads for Run-Off - 2003-04-28


Most of the votes in from Sunday's presidential elections and Argentines have decided to send two longtime politicians to a second-round runoff - the first in the country's history.

Ex-president Carlos Menem has never lost an election. He continued the streak Sunday, by advancing to the second-round presidential election.

Mr. Menem will face Nestor Kirchner, the longtime governor of the Patagonian province of Santa Cruz and the handpicked successor of current president Eduardo Duhalde.

The runoff will pit two members of the splintered Peronist Party against one another. It is a contest that political scientist Jose Nun says favors Mr. Kirchner. "Some people may abstain from voting, because the anti-Peronists will hate to vote for a Peronist. On the other hand, many people who are not Peronists may vote for Kirchner just to repudiate Menem," he said.

The run-off election is three weeks away and the two candidates are expected to begin campaigning again, almost immediately.

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