Argentina candidate rules out default as an option

Argentina candidate rules out default as an option
Presidential candidate Alberto Fernandez, left, addresses supporters next to his partner Fabiola Yanez outside the "Frente de Todos" party headquarters after primary elections in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019. The "Frente de Todos" presidential ticket with former President Cristina Fernández emerged as the strongest vote-getter in Argentina's primary elections Sunday, indicating conservative President Mauricio Macri will face an uphill battle going into general elections in October.(AP Photo/Tomas F. Cuesta)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentine presidential candidate Alberto Fernández says that no one wants a default for the South American country and he’s ruling it out if elected.

The center-left candidate appeared to be trying to calm investors who reacted to his strong finish in the initial round of voting by battering Argentina’s stocks and currency.

Many fear he might halt repayment of a $56 billion credit line from the International Monetary Fund, repeating the sort of default prompted by a crisis two decades ago.

But Fernández said at a candidates’ forum Thursday that “nobody can seriously propose” a default because “it is a debt contracted two years ago by a democratically elected government.”

He said a default “is a solution that sets us back” and said it’s “an error” to raise the issue.