Cristina Kirchner ‘suffers the most debilitating situation in her entire political history’

Cristina Kirchner 'suffers the most debilitating situation in her entire political history'

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Argentine Vice President Cristina Kirchner, accused of corruption and against whom the prosecution requested 12 years in prison, counterattacked this Tuesday with a fierce defense speech in which she denounced what she considers a judicial persecution to ban her from politics. For political analyst Sergio Berensztein, she is perhaps trying to divert the focus of attention at a time of strong government adjustments.

Accused along with twelve other people for the crimes of illicit association and aggravated fraudulent administration, Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner publicly defended herself on Tuesday through a speech in her office in Congress broadcast on social networks.

Kirchner, who enjoys parliamentary privileges, had requested an extension of her preliminary statement for this Tuesday, but the court dismissed the request, considering that this stage had already closed and that she will be able to present her points in the defense’s arguments, as of of September 5.

The vice president’s statements coincide with a strong adjustment that accompanies the arrival of Sergio Massa as “super minister” from the Ministry of Economy. For Sergio Berensztein, a political analyst, the defense of Cristina Kirchner is a way to divert attention from these latest unpopular austerity decisions.

“The government turned to the right and while she was complaining about the cause, they announced measures to cut public spending on education, health, housing, and social spending,” estimates the analyst.

“Argentina has been going through a very deep economic crisis with the incorporation of the former president of the Upper House, Sergio Massa, in a pragmatic turn to the right. It is an objective fact of reality, it is not a criticism: those austerity measures were essential and many believe in fact that she is exaggerating her political reaction because she could potentially stand for election next year and ultimately what she does is divert the focus of attention from austerity measures.”

While her speech was taking place and in an atmosphere of strong polarization, hundreds of followers of her current of left-wing Peronism demonstrated in support of her at the doors of her house in Buenos Aires, where they have been on vigil since Monday night, and then in front of Congress. Her supporters ask her to be a candidate in the next presidential elections. It remains to be seen what political impact the trial may have on the Kirchner clan’s plans.

“Until now there are no symptoms that there are risks in governance. Until now, she is suffering the most exhausting situation in her entire political history. Her image is very bad, she has only 28% positive image and more than 70% negative image. For now there are no symptoms, quite the opposite. In fact, there are already some polls that show that only half of the voters of the Frente de Todos (ruling party) in 2019 believe that Cristina Kirchner is innocent. In short, there is no political reason here to seek a reaction like the one she is seeking, we will see if people believe it. In principle, there is no evidence that there has been a rigged justice or against the interests of Cristina Kirchner or any of the defendants in this case, “says Sergio Berensztein.

A ruling from the Justice is expected between now and December.

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