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Argentina's ruling Peronist party wins provincial elections

FILE PHOTO: Argentina's presidential candidate Alberto Fernandez and his running mate former President Cristina Fernandez' closing campaign rally in Mar del Plata

Argentina's ruling Peronist party posted strong wins in elections Sunday, appearing to hold control over three provinces just months ahead of presidential elections in which support for the party is flagging.

Peronist Gustavo Saenz was re-elected as governor of the province of Salta, while the Peronist candidates in the provinces of Tierra del Fuego and La Pampa were also expected to be re-elected to their posts.

The results come as a relief to President Alberto Fernandez's ranks as economic unrest has shaken the party's hold over the country. Fernandez has said he is not seeking re-election, however a Peronist coalition is still aiming to hold onto power.

Argentina is currently battling an economic crisis, with growing poverty fueled by an annual inflation rate over 100% and a weak peso.

Earlier Sunday, the economy ministry announced a package of measures including rate adjustments, more interventions in the exchange market and expedited deals with creditors.

Although the outcome is good news for the party, its fate in the presidential elections will likely be decided in more populous provinces, such as Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Santa Fe and Mendoza.

(Reporting by Maximilian Heath; Writing by Kylie Madry; Editing by Sonali Paul)