Buenos Aires – Argentine President Cristina Fernandez won re-election in a landslide, garnering 53.96 percent of the vote with 98.25 percent of the ballots counted, election officials said Monday.
Fernandez's Front for Victory won an absolute majority with its allies in the Senate and the lower house of Congress, reversing the losses of 2009.
"I want to call on everyone for national unity, so we do not get distracted by useless confrontations," the president said.
Fernandez, who beat her nearest rival by about 36 points, gave the credit for her win to her late husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, who died of a heart attack on Oct. 27, 2010.
Kirchner "is the great founder of tonight's victory" because "without the things he dared to do, it would have been impossible to get here today," Fernandez said.
The president, wearing black and accompanied by her children, Florencia and Maximo, addressed hundreds of supporters at a Buenos Aires hotel.
"I have the honor of being the first woman re-elected (president) in the country. What else can I ask for. The only thing I want is to contribute with the greatest responsibility to continue building Argentina," Fernandez said.
Fernandez is Argentina's second woman president. In 1974, Isabel Peron, who was first lady and vice president, became head of state when her husband, Juan Domingo Peron, died.
Santa Fe province Gov. Hermes Binner, a socialist, came in second, winning 16.9 percent of the vote.
"This woman is not motivated by any ambitions, but only by love for the fatherland and the need to honor his memory," Fernandez said, referring to her late husband.
Fernandez helped Kirchner, her law-school sweetheart and Argentina's president from 2003 to 2007, win the governorship of his native region, the remote Patagonian province of Santa Cruz.
She later won a seat in the Argentine Senate before Kirchner became president.
Candidates allied with the Front for Victory, the Peronist Party faction led by Fernandez, won the governorships of eight of the nine provinces in play in Sunday's election.
Nine provinces - Buenos Aires, Entre Rios, La Pampa, San Luis, Santa Cruz, Jujuy, San Juan, Mendoza and Formosa - held gubernatorial elections.
The only province where the Front for Victory came up short was San Luis, where Claudio Poggi, a candidate close to outgoing Gov. Alberto Rodriguez Saa, who ran for president as a dissident Peronist candidate, won.
Buenos Aires Gov. Daniel Scioli, a member of the ruling party, won re-election with more than 50 percent of the vote.