The citizens of the Santa Fe Province headed to the polls on Sunday to vote for their next governor, which means we’ll have to wait another 10 days to know who actually won.
There’s no time like the present, we’re told.
Basically, some 58,500 votes were cancelled — the equivalent of approximately three percent of the ballots — so what was already a ridiculously close race is now a toss up.
As of right now, Socialist candidate Miguel Lifschitz (a clear winner in the entertaining name department) is in the very narrow lead with 30.7 percent of votes, a mere hair ahead of Republican Proposal (PRO) candidate Miguel Del Sel (with 30.58 percent of votes), who in turn is only slightly ahead of Victory Front (FpV) candidate Omar Perotti (Cristina’s guy, with 29.25 percent). Seriously: paper-thin margins.
However, inconclusive results didn’t stop some (looking at you, Lifschitz) from stepping forward and proclaiming themselves victor, resulting in some others (ahem, Del Sel) from following up with a bit of a hissy fit.
Back in April, Del Sel came in ahead in Santa Fe’s primary elections (PASO), igniting PRO hopes for victory in the province (to almost everyone else’s chagrin, who’ve bemoaned the candidate’s many sexist remarks as well as what many would term a lack of professionalism. A campaign video featuring him “jokingly” offering to “bring the whores” to an asado went viral recently. I rest my case.)
He’s also known for his Mercedes Sosa impression.
Claudia Catalín, a spokesperson for the provincial electoral secretariat, said the final results are expected to be done by next weekend. But we’re used to it: in the April primaries, approximately 200,000 votes (roughly 10 percent) where initially not counted. (Maybe the officials were too high off glyphosate to notice?)
However in this election, 45 international inspectors have been sent to monitor the voting process and, according to current Governor Bonfatti, it’s all gone on without a hitch.
Del Sel retains a critical tone in his discussion of the electoral counting process, however. During a press conference on Monday he stated that, “Both we and the public want to know what the true final result is, because otherwise we’ll start to lose confidence in our democracy and that’s the worst thing that can happen to the country.”
With presidential elections only a few months away, gubernatorial elections are more important than ever, with the power to paint a picture of the political landscape that candidates will be facing in October. Along with Buenos Aires and Cordoba, Santa Fe is a key province.
As for now, the people of Santa Fe will simply have to wait and see which old white guy will be leading their province for the next few years.