Argentina's ruling party takes a hit in mid-term elections


Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner waves to people from the Government palace as she waits the arrival of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Buenos Aires on May 8, 2013.


Juan Mabromata

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her ruling FPV party tried to downplay a defeat in Argentina's mid-term elections, which has ruled out the possibility of a constitutional change that would allow her a third term in 2015.

The government's coalition was left with only a slim majority in both legislative chambers after Sunday's elections, leaving the arena wide open for potential successors to take the stage.

More from GlobalPost: Argentina's president set for head surgery

Sergio Massa, mayor of Tigre as well as opposition leader and the president's former cabinet chief, is expected to run in the presidential election in two years' time.

He beat Fernandez de Kirchner's handpicked candidate in the country's largest electoral district of Buenos Aires province in the weekend vote, which is key to winning any presidential election.

Massa's new Renewal Front may have won only 19 of the 257 seats in the lower house, but if he and other opponents can convince a few more of Fernandez's supporters in each chamber to switch sides, they will be able to deny the government the majority it needs to pass laws.

"We're going to work with all those leaders who want to be part of the construction of the future," Massa said Monday.

While Fernandez de Kirchner still controls Congress, her FPV party and its allies got just 33 percent of the nationwide vote in Sunday's elections.