The Latest: Argentine opposition candidate ahead in runoff

The Latest: Argentine opposition candidate ahead in runoff

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The latest news as Argentina, Guatemala and Haiti hold votes for the presidency and Colombia for regional offices:

11:15 p.m.

Opposition candidate Mauricio Macri is narrowly leading in Argentina's presidential elections.

Election officials say that with 67 percent of polling places reporting, Macri had 36 percent of the vote compared to 34 percent for ruling party candidate Daniel Scioli.

The tight race means that a runoff is likely. To win, a candidate needs 45 percent of the vote or 40 percent and a 10-point advantage over the nearest competitor.

Scioli, the chosen successor of President Cristina Fernandez, had gone into Sunday's presidential election with numerous polls predicting he would win by more than 10 points.

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10:45 p.m.

A former first lady has conceded defeat to TV comedian Jimmy Morales in Guatemala's presidential runoff. Morales is also claiming victory in Sunday's vote.

Running vote-counts from the Supreme Electoral Tribunal have shown Morales in a commanding lead throughout the evening with about 70 percent to Sandra Torres' 30 percent.

Morales' victory comes a month-and-a-half after then-President Otto Perez Molina resigned and was jailed in connection with a customs graft scandal.

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9:40 p.m.

A TV comic is maintaining his commanding lead in early returns for Guatemala's presidential runoff.

The Supreme Electoral Tribunal reports that with about nearly two-thirds of the votes counted, Jimmy Morales is getting some 73 percent of the vote compared with 27 percent for former first lady Sandra Torres.

The runoff was held a month-and-a-half after then-President Otto Perez Molina resigned and was jailed in connection with a sprawling customs graft scandal.

The winner will face public anger at corruption that helped unseat the last government and immediate demands for reform.

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9:00 p.m.

A TV comic has a commanding lead in early returns for the presidential runoff in Guatemala.

The Supreme Electoral Tribunal reports that with about 33 percent of the votes counted, Jimmy Morales is getting some 73 percent of the vote compared with 27 percent for former first lady Sandra Torres.

The runoff was held a month-and-a-half after then-President Otto Perez Molina resigned and was jailed in connection with a sprawling customs graft scandal.

The winner will face public anger at corruption that helped unseat the last government and immediate demands for reform

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8:45 p.m.

Polls have closed in Guatemala where voters are picking their next president between TV comic Jimmy Morales and former first lady Sandra Torres.

The Supreme Electoral Tribunal is beginning to report preliminary returns. Morales is the early leader, but just 4 percent of the votes have been counted so far.

The tribunal said earlier that it closed polling stations in one municipality two hours early to prevent violent incidents.

Two weeks earlier a group of people killed the recently elected mayor in the municipality, Concepcion. The mayor had been accused of provoking an attack on a political rival in which two teenage girls were killed.

Sunday's runoff comes a month and a half after then-President Otto Perez Molina resigned and was jailed in connection with a sprawling customs corruption scandal.

8:15 p.m.

Election authorities in Haiti have begun tallying ballots in voting for the presidency and a slew of legislative and municipal seats.

The presidential field was so crowded and confusing that there was little clarity about who might be leading as voting wrapped up and the tallying paper ballots began. Partial results were not expected for at least 10 days.

Voting was generally tranquil in many parts of the country, though there were roughly 70 arrests for various irregularities. Officials say four polling stations were forced to close in areas of northern Haiti after ballots were burned.

7:35 p.m.

Independent candidate Enrique Penalosa has been declared the winner of Bogota's mayoral race in a surprise defeat of Colombia's left that has governed the capital for the last 12 years.

Penalosa won the election with 33 percent of the vote, besting second-place finisher Rafael Pardo, who secured 28.5 percent, and leftist candidate Clara Lopez, who finished third with 18 percent.

Penalosa is remembered fondly by Bogota's 8 million residents for implementing a mass transit system when previously served as mayor from 1998 to Jan. 1, 2001. He regained his job on the promise to restore order to the city amid growing complaints about crime and gridlock traffic.

5:30 p.m.

The polls in Argentina have closed without any reported disturbances. That is a big change from the primaries in August, when accusations of fraud were rampant and many polling places were closed because of flooding and rain.

An estimated 32 million Argentines were eligible to vote in Sunday's presidential election. Voting is obligatory, but there are many exceptions, such as citizens over 70 not being required to participate.

The South American country still uses paper ballots, meaning many polling places nationwide must count votes manually. Initial official results are were expected until 11 p.m. local time, and voting officials have warned it could be several days before a victor can be declared.

None of the major candidates reported any irregularities in voting.

5:20 p.m.

As polls close in Haiti, the head of the Organization of American States' 125-member observer mission says the country appears to be "moving in the right direction" with its elections.

Celso Amorim offered few specifics about why he is giving a positive assessment but voting has been relatively orderly across the nation of some 10 million people, although there were some signs of confusion and logistical problems.

Haitians are choosing between 54 presidential hopefuls and a slew of legislative and municipal candidates they hope will lift the nation out of chronic poverty and turbulence.

2:00 P.M.

The continuing appeal of former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide is on display as he votes in the country's capital.

Thousands of people turned out to show support as he arrived at a voting center near his house in Tabarre with his favored presidential candidate, Maryse Narcisse.

The crowd chanted, "Aristide is our blood!" as people pushed each other for a view.

He smiled and waved at supporters and urgent them to vote for his Lavalas party.

Aristide campaigned with Narcisse last week. It was a surprise appearance by the former leader who returned to Haiti in 2011 after seven years in exile following his ouster in a violent rebellion in 2004.

Still some of his loyalists said Sunday they're backing another candidate, Moise Jean Charles. It's a sign of how his movement has splintered.

1:45 p.m.

The future of President Cristina Fernandez is one of the biggest questions in Argentina today. The 62-year-old leader is barred from running for a third term, but only added to the mystery when asked about it while voting Sunday.

In her words, "I'll do what I always do," and used the word "militar," which can mean serve or work but has the added connotation of an activist.

Fernandez's chosen successor is front-runner Daniel Scioli, the governor of the Buenos Aires province. Many Argentines believe that if Scioli wins, Fernandez will continue to call the shots from behind the scenes, as his government will include many Fernandez loyalists.

Scioli bristles at such suggestions, pointing to his long career in politics which included a stint as vice president to Nestor Kirchner, Fernandez's predecessor and late husband.

12:25 p.m.

A polarized Argentina is selecting a successor to President Cristina Fernandez on Sunday, and undecided voters are key to the race.

Among those waiting to the last minute is Anai Roy, a 20-year-old college student. She says she still hasn't decided who to vote for as she goes into a polling place in Buenos Aires.

In her words, "I'll decide who I vote for when I'm inside."

Daniel Scioli is the anointed successor Fernandez and he goes into the election with about a 10 point lead in the polls.

To win, a candidate needs least 45 percent of the vote or 40 percent and a 10-point spread over the nearest competitor. Short of that, there will be a runoff in November between the top two candidates.

11:30 a.m.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos says he hopes Sunday's vote is the final time his countrymen vote with an armed conflict underway.

He made the comment while casting his own vote. It's a bit of promotion for Cuba-based peace talks his government is holding with rebels — negotiations that some critics bitterly oppose.

The presidency isn't at stake in the vote, but key mayoral and gubernatorial posts are.

The most important is in the capital, Bogota. There polls show 61-year-old economist Enrique Penalosa ahead. The former mayor has been campaigning on a bicycle. He's been leading the Liberal Party's Rafael Pardo and two other candidates.

10:50 a.m.

Guatemalans are choosing a president amid political upheaval that forced the last elected leader from office.

Insurance salesman Alexander Pereira was the first to vote Sunday at one polling station.

He says that "the important thing is that the next government avoids corruption."

Comedian and political outsider Jimmy Morales is leading in most polls, ahead of former first lady Sandra Torres.

Former President Otto Perez Molina was forced to resign as he was jailed on corruption charges following mass street protests.

10:25 a.m.

Haitian voters have begun choosing between more than 50 presidential candidates, and the process generally has been orderly so far this morning.

There are some early signs of confusion, though.

At a voting center in Port-au-Prince's Martissant slum, an elections supervisor yelled at dozens of people trying to force their way in: "No voting two times!"

People shouted back that they were being prevented from voting once.

At a polling center in the Petionville neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, police gave the unruliest people in line short zaps with a Taser as brief scuffles broke out.

Results aren't expected before late November. And with so many candidates, a Dec. 27 runoff between the top two finishers seems inevitable.