Conservative candidate elected mayor of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Conservative PRO Party candidate Horacio Rodriguez Larreta was elected mayor of Buenos Aires Sunday in a closely fought race with the opposition ahead presidential elections later this year. 

AFP| Last Updated: Jul 20, 2015, 11:29 AM IST

Buenos Aires: Conservative PRO Party candidate Horacio Rodriguez Larreta was elected mayor of Buenos Aires Sunday in a closely fought race with the opposition ahead presidential elections later this year. 

With 99 percent of the vote counted, Larreta, the head of the rightist PRO Party, had secured 51.6 percent of the vote, just beating his opponent, ECO Party leader Martin Lousteau, who garnered 48.4 percent.

Larreta replaces the current mayor, PRO Party`s Mauricio Macri, who will run for presidency in October against leftist Cristina Kirchner, in power since 2007. 

Larreta celebrated the victory after the ballot count Sunday. 

"We are here again celebrating the huge pride of being supported by the local people," 49-year-old Larreta said. 

"I want to thank the residents who voted for us, and those who did not. They know that we always work for everyone equally."

Polls had suggested the PRO candidate would beat his ECO Party rival with a greater margin. 

In the first round of voting on July 5, Larreta clinched 45.5 percent of the ballot, and his opponent Lousteau secured 25.5 percent of the vote.

In Sunday`s ballot, the ECO Party won a majority in nine out of 15 districts in the Argentine capital.

Former economy minister Lousteau conceded defeat and promised to work with his rivals. 

"We will be, as we have always been, a constructive opposition which can propose (issues) and discuss priorities," said Lousteau, who is married to a popular television actress in Argentina.

The business-friendly PRO Party has held mayoral reign for two consecutive terms, since 2007, and the party will remain in power for another four years. 

Far left parties, which won seven percent in early voting, had called on voters to submit blank ballots. According to official results, five percent of the ballots in Sunday`s municipal election were blank.