Argentine leader to announce running mate Saturday

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 24, 2011 12:49 PM
Argentine leader to announce running mate Saturday

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentine President Cristina Fernandez will announce her running mate for an October 23 election on Saturday after a close ally tipped as a leading contender said he was not in the running.

Center-leftist Fernandez said earlier this week she would run for a second term, shifting attention to her choice of vice presidential candidate. She has until midnight on Saturday (0300 GMT on Sunday) to register candidates, including her running mate.

Fernandez, who has a wide lead over opposition rivals in opinion polls, will announce her choice hours before Saturday's registration dateline, a government source said.

Provincial governor Jorge Capitanich, 46, a long-time Fernandez ally, quashed speculation on Friday that he would run alongside Fernandez in October's election.

"It's a matter that was never part of my personal agenda," he told a news conference, saying he was committed instead to seeking re-election in the northern province of Chaco. It was not clear whether he was offered the role.

Other figures tipped as potential vice presidents include Media Secretary Juan Manuel Abal Medina, Economy Minister Amado Boudou, Agriculture Minister Julian Dominguez and Entre Rios provincial governor Sergio Urribarri.

Economic analysts say Fernandez's candidacy is already factored into the markets, but her choice of running mate could give an indication of whether her interventionist policies could take a different course in the likely event she wins a second term.

(Reporting by Alejandro Lifschitz and Guido Nejamkis; writing by Helen Popper, Editing by Sandra Maler)