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Argentina Votes for President

A voter casts his ballot during the runoff election in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nov. 22, 2015.

Argentina is holding it first ever presidential runoff election Sunday. The vote is widely seen as a referendum on the left-leaning policies of outgoing President Cristina Kirchner and her predecessor and late husband Nestor Kirchner.

Mauricio Macri, the center-right mayor of Buenos Aires and former boss of the popular football club Boca Juniors, was the surprise winner in the October 25 first round against ruling party candidate Daniel Scioli.

Macri told his supporters he wanted to lift capital controls and trade restrictions to win investor confidence and bring hard currency into the dollar-starved economy.

Numerous surveys leading up to the October vote had provincial governor Daniel Scioli winning. Sciloi, President Kirchner's chosen successor, has vowed to uphold the core elements of "kirchnerism," a populist creed built around trade protectionism, social welfare and defense of the working classes.

Scioli, a powerboating fanatic who lost his right arm in a 1989 racing accident, promised voters during his campaign a change in style to attract more investment to Argentina. He talked of a more gradual approach to monetary reform, while maintaining a generous social welfare safety net.

Under Argentine electoral law, in order to win outright in the first round, a candidate must claim more than 45 percent of the vote, or at least 40 percent with a margin of 10 points over the runner-up.

Some material for this report came from AP, AFP and Reuters.