WASHINGTON – The United States congratulated Argentinians on Monday for holding successful presidential elections and said it was willing to work with the new president-elect.
Alberto Fernandez, a left-wing Peronist, won the first round of the presidential election held on Sunday with 48.1 percent of the vote, unseating incumbent President Mauricio Macri, who only obtained 40.37 percent.
“We stand ready to work with Alberto Fernandez as the new President of Argentina to address the interests our countries share,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.
Pompeo noted that the US and Argentina “enjoy a long-standing and mutually respectful partnership, which has benefited both nations and is a testimony to our many shared democratic values and priorities.”
“We look forward to working with the Fernandez administration to promote regional security, prosperity, and the rule of law,” the US’ top diplomat added.
Fernandez will appoint his running mate, former President Cristina Fernandez (in office between 2007-15), as vice-president.
After his triumph in the elections was announced, Fernandez promised to “collaborate” in the transition process so that “Argentinians stop suffering once and for all.”
Fernandez’s victory and Peronism’s return to power has been celebrated by several progressive Latin American governments and lamented by many right-wing ones, such as Brazil.
Writing on his Twitter account, Fernandez thanked the presidents of Mexico, Chile, Peru, Paraguay, and Bolivia for their congratulations.
Macri and Fernandez met on Monday to begin a complex transition process that is set to be completed by Dec. 10.
“My team and I are available to work together to achieve a democratic transition that benefits all Argentinians,” Macri tweeted after the meeting, which lasted an hour.