( Spanish) — The Vice President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, headed the act that commemorated the 20th anniversary of the arrival of Néstor Kirchner to the presidency of Argentina, where she offered a speech in which she vindicated the legacy of her deceased husband.
“When Néstor arrived, retiring was not a right,” recalled Cristina Kirchner, recalling the 2001 crisis that preceded Kirchner’s first presidency, according to information from the state news agency Télam.
Although she had already said that she would not be a candidate, many in Argentina were awaiting her final decision, although the former president once again avoided giving too much detail both about her own candidacy and about eventual support for one of the possible Kirchnerism candidates.
Cristina reserved part of her speech for former President Mauricio Macri, leader of the opposition, whom she blamed for the country’s indebtedness to the International Monetary Fund. “The IMF gave Macri 57,000 million dollars to win the elections,” said the vice president, according to Télam.
President Alberto Fernández, who for the moment did not publicly support any candidate and who was one of the major absentees from this Thursday’s event, insists on the importance of the Frente de Todos government coalition participating in the Open, Simultaneous Primaries and Mandatory (the so-called STEP) with several candidates, something that has never happened in Peronism.
On stage, together with the vice president, were several representatives of the Frente de Todos, as well as the governor of the province of Buenos Aires, Axel Kicillof; the Minister of the Interior, Eduardo “Wado” de Pedro; the Minister of Economy, Sergio Massa; the national deputy and son of the vice president, Máximo Kirchner, and the governor of the province of Santa Cruz, Alicia Kirchner, among other leaders.
Massa, whom various surveys point to as the best positioned to compete for the presidency, has already spoken publicly against that option proposed by President Fernández. However, he has not yet confirmed whether he will be a candidate.
The other positioned is “Wado” De Pedro, son of those who disappeared from the last dictatorship and one of the vice president’s trusted people, who within Peronism some point to as a possible candidate.
CFK points to the ballot (like Macri)
“The important thing is to enter the ballot,” said the vice president of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, in an extensive television interview last week in which she confirmed that she will not be a candidate in the October presidential elections.
Although she also launched some criticism against President Alberto Fernández, the vice president defended having chosen him as a candidate in 2019: “It was a good strategy,” she said, adding: “We had to ensure the triumph of Peronism.”
This interview was given two days after the extensive letter in which Fernández de Kirchner confirmed that she will not be a candidate in this year’s elections and which was published while the Congress of the Justicialist Party was taking place, where several leaders cheered for an eventual your application.
To the surprise of many, Fernández de Kirchner and former President Mauricio Macri share an electoral vision for the presidential elections in October: the definition in the ballot seems inevitable.
“We are going to go to a second round with this new, more disruptive expression,” said Macri, leader of Together for Change, in relation to his force and Javier Milei, of La Libertad Avanza. In the ideological antipodes, Fernández de Kirchner, the maximum referent of the ruling Frente de Todos, assured that “the important thing is to reach the ballot.”
If the runoff scenario assumed by Kirchner and Macri were fulfilled, no force would obtain the necessary minimum of 45% to win in the first round nor would it exceed 40% with a difference of 10 points over the second force. Consequently, this projection includes, at least, the participation of an opposition force in the final vote for the presidency of Argentina.
The last antecedent of a second electoral round in Argentina dates from 2015. At that time, the Cambiemos coalition, now Juntos por el Cambio, defeated the Front for Victory, which brought together Kirchnerism and Peronism related to Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. That vote was the one that consecrated Macri as president of the Argentines. For this reason, the ballot stage excites Together for Change, although it must first resolve internal elections in the August 13 primaries.
On the opposite shore of Kirchnerism, the candidates of Together for Change that are being heard are Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, head of Government of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires; Patricia Bullrich, Macri’s former Security Minister; Gerardo Morales, president of the Radical Civic Union and governor of Jujuy since 2015, Facundo Manes, the neuroscientist made the leap into politics in 2021; and Miguel Ángel Pichetto, who represents the Peronist branch of Together for Change.
The legal troubles of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Fernández de Kirchner was found guilty of fraudulent administration and damage to the public administration during a period that spanned her two presidencies (2007-2011 and 2011-2015), through the extraction of State funds for her personal benefit or that of a third party. The vice president has always denied the charges and considers the entire trial no longer a political persecution.
Although the vice president has immunity and cannot be detained, since this sentence is of first instance, it is not yet effective.
In that defense that he made from his office in Congress, he said, for the first time, that he would not be a candidate for any position, although the sentence did not prevent him from aspiring to a position. However, and despite what she said, since then the foundations of Kirchnerism have continued to encourage an eventual candidacy of hers.
With information from Iván Pérez Sarmenti and Ignacio Grimaldi