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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 October 2007, 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK
Argentines 'auction' votes online
Nestor and Cristina Kirchner
Argentina's first lady has been leading polls ahead of the election
A number of voters in Argentina are seeking to auction off their votes on the internet ahead of the presidential election later this month.

Opening prices for the votes range from 1 peso ($0.30) to 300 pesos ($95).

Argentine electoral authorities say they can do little to stop the practice because it falls into a legal vacuum.

One of the voters, Martin Minue, a doctor from the northern province of Rioja, told a newspaper it was his way to protest against useless politicians.

Mr Minue, 33, told the Clarin paper he felt powerless to change the country's situation.

The doctor, who works in the city of Chilecito, posted his vote on an auction website with a price tag of 20 pesos (US$6).

"It is a kind of protest and joke at the same time," he told Clarin.

'New and unused'

Another voter from the same city, calling himself Arielitogoliat, has also put his vote up for auction, attracting responses from as far away as Brazil.

His entry on the site Mercadolibre.com is addressed to the presidential candidates, telling them that if they want to be sure of winning the seat in his area, he has the answer.

He promises that the vote is new and unused, the newspaper Infobae reports, because "no-one has been worth giving it to".

Votes have also been placed for sale online by Argentines from the capital, Buenos Aires, and the province of Buenos Aires.

One voter, from Isidro Casanova, is asking for 300 pesos. His picture shows him holding up a glass to the camera.

The presidential election is due to take place on 28 October.

Argentina's first lady and presidential candidate, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, has been leading opinion polls.

The wife of incumbent president Nestor Kirchner, she would, if successful, become Argentina's first elected woman president.

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