Argentine President Cristina Fernandez’s name will forever be etched in the history books after being re-elected to office Sunday in a landslide.
By winning with the widest victory margin in Argentina’s history, the 58-year-old leader becomes the first woman re-elected as president in Latin America.
Fernandez accounted for nearly 54 percent of the votes cast in Sunday’s election, with nearly 97 percent of polling stations reporting nationwide. Her nearest challenger received just under 17 percent.
“We need everyone to comprehend … that because of the popular will and this political decision, you can count on me to continue deepening this national project,” vowed Fernandez in her victory speeches, in her quest to keep spreading the wealth of the nation’s economic boom. “All I want is to keep collaborating … to keep Argentina growing. I want to keep changing history.”
Since Fernandez and her predecessor as president, her late husband Nestor Kirchner, first moved into Argentina’s presidential palace in 2003, the income gap between the country’s rich and poor has been reduced by nearly half. Meanwhile, Argentina’s real GDP has grown 94 percent—according to the International Monetary Fund’s numbers for 2002-2011—the fastest in the Western Hemisphere and about twice the rate of Brazil, reports economist Mark Weisbrot.
“The worst that people can be is small. In history, you always must be bigger still — more generous, more thoughtful, more thankful,” said Fernandez, who was recently named one of the most powerful women in the world by Forbes magazine, while vowing to protect Argentina from outside threats or special interests.
“This woman isn’t moved by any interest. The only thing that moves her is profound love for the country. Of that I’m responsible,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez’s second four-year term will begin on December 10.