Supporters of outgoing Argentine president Cristina Fernandez hold a rally to bid her farewell. Julie Noce reports
Thousands gathered in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires to show their support for outgoing president Cristina Fernandez. Fernandez lost to conservative Mauricio Macri in a run-off last month that will bring an end to 12 years of leftist rule. Kirchneristas, as her supporters are known, carried banners and signs to the rally. We love her, this man said. Everything she gave us was a vindication so we are more than grateful. Fernandez, a fiery and divisive leader, is revered by many Argentines for expanding welfare benefits, and introducing new civil rights like gay marriage. During her speech she thanked supporters and vowed to stay by their side. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ARGENTINE PRESIDENT, CRISTINA FERNANDEZ, SAYING: "These are the greatest things that I have given to the Argentine people - the empowerment of the people, of the citizens, the empowerment of liberties, rights. Thank you for so much happiness, so much joy, so much love. I love you all. You will all be with me forever in my heart, and know, that I will always be right there with you. Thank you everyone." Fernadez's critics say she created a handout culture and choked Latin America's third largest economy with interventionist policies. Macri has vowed to remove state controls on the economy and conduct more orthodox policies.