The Latest: Argentine opposition wins presidential election

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Posted: Nov 22, 2015 7:47 PM
The Latest: Argentine opposition wins presidential election

BUENOS AIRES (AP) — The latest on Argentina's presidential runoff election. All times local:

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9:45 p.m.

Opposition candidate Mauricio Macri has won Argentina's historic runoff election, putting an end to the era of left-leaning President Cristina Fernandez, who along with her late husband dominated the political scene and rewrote the country's social contract.

Ruling party candidate Daniel Scioli, Fernandez's chosen successor, conceded late Sunday. He told supporters that he had called Macri to congratulate him.

Macri, the mayor of Buenos Aires, ran on promises to overhaul the South American nation's sagging economy. His win comes after he did better than expected in the first round on Oct. 25, forcing a runoff with Scioli, the governor of the vast Buenos Aires province.

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8:20

Initial returns show that opposition candidate Mauricio Macri is leading ruling party candidate Daniel Scioli in the Argentine presidential election. With 21 percent of the vote counted, Macri has a 54 percent compared to 46 percent for Scioli. Final results are expected later Sunday.

Several exit polls predicted that Macri would win. However, Argentine law does not allow the exit polls to release percentages until 9 p.m. local time.

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6:50 p.m.

Exit polls are projecting that opposition candidate Mauricio Macri will win the Argentine elections.

Argentine law does not permit exit polls to release percentages until 9 p.m. local time. However, they are allowed to project a winner when the polls close. The exit polls are done by media companies such as C5N and Canal America.

The first initial results are not expected until later Sunday.

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6 p.m.

The polls have closed in Argentina's presidential election. There were no reports of large scale disturbances. The first official results were expected later Sunday.

By the 5:30 p.m., election officials said 74 percent of registered voters, or about 24 million people, had gone to the polls. Voting in Argentina is obligatory, but there are several exceptions, such as senior citizens or people who are traveling and can't get to a polling place.

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3 p.m.

Cristina Fernandez has voted for the last time as president, and she's taken a few minutes to reflect on her administration and that of her late husband before her, Nestor Kirchner. Fernandez voted in a church in the city of Rio Gallego in the southern province of Santa Cruz.

She says Argentina has "never had a period of government with this level of social and economic stability."

Fernandez leaves power Dec. 10.

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12:00 a.m.

Maria Escribano says she's walking her dog outside a polling place to ponder how to vote in Argentina's presidential runoff election. In last month's first round, she voted for the Socialist Workers' Party's Nicolas del Cano, who only captured a fraction of the vote.

Escribano says she won't vote for ruling party candidate Daniel Scioli because she has been turned off by his negative attacks against opposition candidate Mauricio Macri . However, as a supporter of socialism, she doesn't like Macri's free-market ideas.

Voting is obligatory, so she doesn't want to skip out.

Her potential solution? She may leave her ballot blank.

In her words, "I'm hoping that by walking the dog I'll be able to decide."

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10:30 a.m.

Polling places have opened for Argentina's presidential election and already some politicians have showed up to cast votes.

Government-backed candidate Daniel Scioli had to struggle through a crowd of journalists to reach a ballot box in Buenos Aires, the capital. The 58-year-old was accompanied by his wife and daughter.

Most polls show trends favor his rival, Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri.

Scioli stresses continuation of the government's extensive welfare programs and subsidies. Macri says he'll keep key welfare programs but will put greater effort into reviving the economy.