Argentine government loses ground ahead of midterms


By Michael Warren, AP

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner could lose control of Congress during the last two years of her presidency if the results of Sunday’s primary hold in Argentina’s midterm elections in October, but she made it clear that she has no intention of changing the way she runs the country.

Fernandez failed the first electoral test of her second term on Sunday as ruling party candidates trailed opponents across Argentina’s most populous provinces, but far from admit defeat, she urged her followers to redouble their efforts. “We’re going to keep deepening this transformation, because it’s our obligation,” she said.

“There may be other politicians showing up offering something different,” she added. “I ask that all of you think about what we’ve done in the last 10 years.”

The governing Front for Victory party remains the only political force in Argentina with a nationwide organization, and got the most votes Sunday in six of seven provinces with senate races. But its house candidates got the most votes Sunday in only eight of the 23 provinces, and trailed in every major city, including the capital and the all-important surrounding province of Buenos Aires, a traditional Kirchner stronghold, where 35 percent of the voters live.