The Latest: Fernández supporters celebrating in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The Latest on Argentina’s elections (all times local):

8:10 p.m.

Hundreds of supporters of Argentine presidential candidate Alberto Fernández are cheering outside the gate of his apartment building, some of them chanting “Alberto Presidente!” 

Hundreds more are waving sky-blue and white Argentine flags outside his campaign headquarters Sunday after polls closed in a polarized presidential election expected that could move the South American country leftward.

The celebrations come after exit polls by the TN, C5N and América local television channels gave Fernández a lead over Macri. But local media did not release percentages in the polls following a ban on doing so under Argentine law.

Initial official results are not expected in about an hour.

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6:30 p.m.

Polls have closed in Argentina where officials say there was a heavy turnout in what has been a largely peaceful election.

Voting could bring a political shift leftward with center-left Peronist candidate Alberto Fernández favored to win a presidential vote dominated by frustration over an economic crisis that has eroded support for conservative incumbent Mauricio Macri.

Initial official results are not expected for several hours. But exit polls by the TN, C5N and América local television channels give Fernández a lead over Macri nationwide. Local media, however, did not release percentages due to a local ban on doing so.

Fernández’s vice presidential running mate is former President Cristina Fernández, who governed Argentina from 2005 to 2015.

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4 p.m.

Argentina faced a potentially sharp political shift on Sunday with center-left Peronist candidate Alberto Fernández favored to win an election dominated by frustration over an economic crisis that has eroded support for conservative incumbent Mauricio Macri.

Macri was elected president in 2015 as Argentines rejected a successor chosen by former President Cristina Fernández, who is now running as vice president on the Peronist ticket with Alberto Fernández. The two are not related.

Polls closed with a heavy turnout in largely peaceful elections. Initial official results are not expected for several hours. Exit polls by the TN, C5N and América local television channels give Fernández a lead over Macri. But local media did not release percentages following a ban on doing so under Argentine law.

A victory by the Fernández ticket would mark another political swing in South America, which has seen conservative governments elected in Brazil, Colombia and Chile in recent years. Cristina Fernández was considered part of the “pink tide” of leftist governments that arose in the region in the 1990s and 2000s.

Now the region is being rocked by unrest in Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador fueled by discontent over corruption, inequality and slowing growth.

Categories: International News