Cristina Fernández de Kirchner ratified Tuesday night that she will not be a candidate for president or senator in this year’s general elections, scheduled for October. The decision of the Argentine vice president, the undisputed leader for a quarter of the population, clears up the doubts that had been reborn due to the so-called “operational outcry” organized by many Peronist leaders, including several from his closest entourage.
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Cristina Kirchner’s decision joins that of the center-left Peronist president, Alberto Fernández, and that of former conservative president Mauricio Macri, who weeks ago also announced that they will not participate in this year’s electoral contest. With the step aside of three of the main figures of Argentine politics in the last twenty years, all of them divisive with a highly negative image, a dispute for leadership in both coalitions, the Peronist and the right wing, opens with an open result. .
Kirchner published a letter titled “To the companions and companions” on his personal digital site at the same time that the leadership of the Justicialista Party (Peronist) culminated a congress to define the alliances for the primary elections on August 13 and the presidential elections on October 22. The discomfort of his supporters gathered in a micro-stadium in a Buenos Aires neighborhood was palpable.
“I will not be a pet”
The Peronist leader reiterated that she will not participate in the electoral dispute so as not to be a “mascot of power for any candidacy” and reiterated that “the ban” is not a person, but “of Peronism.” These concepts had been made public by the vice president on December 6, when she received the first sentence against her, to 6 years in prison, for alleged corruption in the granting of public works contracts in the province of Santa Cruz (extreme south ) to a businessman with whom the Kirchners had a business relationship for decades.
The different steps of the trial had the participation of judges and prosecutors linked to Macri and the Clarín Group, to the point that photos of some of them emerged in the fifth weekend of the former right-wing president and records of pleasure trips organized by the main Argentine media group.
I already said it on December 6, 2022. I will not be a pet of power for any candidacy. I have given signs, like no one else, of privileging the collective project over personal location”
Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
The alleged interference by the enemies of the center-left leader in the trials against her led her to denounce persecution. The December sentence includes the absolute disqualification from holding public office but, however, it does not prohibit their participation in future presidential elections, because it would have to be confirmed by at least two higher instances, including the Supreme Court, which could take years.
For Kirchner, if it were to appear, the Court —with undisguised close ties to the opposition alliance Juntos por el Cambio (JxC)— would speed up the times, an extreme that non-conservative jurists consider highly improbable. The first instance of appeal, Cassation, will also have judges who visited Macri in the presidential villa in Olivos or in the Casa Rosada for reasons that they defined as social or sporting.
′′ I already said it on December 6, 2022. I’m not going to be a pet of power for any candidacy. I have shown, like no one else, that I privilege the collective project over personal location”, said the former president (2007-2015). He added that “during 2022 it was seen how the verbal and symbolic violence that had been implanted in society for years by the hegemonic media materialized in the street through the actions of violent groups that attacked, insulted and They threatened death with mortuary bags, guillotines, torches, stones and escraches”. “The culmination of this action took place on September 1, 2022, in front of my private house when, accompanied by God and the Virgin and surrounded by colleagues, they attempted on my life,” added Cristina.
The investigation into the assassination attempt is also controversial. Despite the fact that indications emerged that the authors, far-right characters with a marginal appearance, could have had financing and/or some connection with a JxC deputy and the family of a former Macri Finance Minister, the federal court is determined to circumscribe the investigation of the alleged primary culprits.
Beyond the reiteration of Cristina’s arguments, her step aside leaves her closest circle politically orphaned, headed by her son Máximo Kirchner, leader of the La Cámpora group and the main scourge of President Alberto Fernández, whom they suggest betrayed the confidence of the vice president
That sector had been carrying out demonstrations to achieve a third term for Cristina, something that the leader has shown, for years, that it is not in her interest.
The problem with Peronism is that it lacks a leader who generates an adherence minimally similar to that of the lawyer who now seems to be saying goodbye to public office.
Surveys show that the vice president has a rejection rate of more than 60% of the population, but maintains an unabated support of between 25% and 30%, percentages that have remained fairly stable in the last decade.
The problem with Peronism is that it lacks a leader who generates an adherence minimally similar to that of the lawyer who now seems to be saying goodbye to public office, after four decades in which she was a provincial deputy, constituent convention, national deputy, senator , President and Vice President. The ruling coalition does not have a replacement for the vice president’s political density not even close.
names in dance
Eduardo de Pedro, Minister of the Interior and member of La Cámpora, wants to be a presidential candidate. Son of disappeared, his main asset is his personal bond with Cristina, who would not be equally warm with Máximo. Affable in his treatment, although distrusted by a large part of Peronism due to his ups and downs in relation to the government of which he is a minister, one of the challenges that he should face in the short time remaining to write down candidacies —on June 24— is the relatively low threshold knowledge in public opinion.
An alternative that would have been unthinkable a short time ago is that of the Minister of Economy, Sergio Massa. His ideological eclecticism and his closeness to American politics placed him for years at the antipodes of Christianity. Pragmatic reasons could put him on the list of candidates, although the 8.4% monthly inflation in April, one of the highest rates in the world, complicates his undoubted presidential aspirations.
strictly off world christianist, is the head of the Cabinet, Agustín Rossi. A progressive Peronist from the city of Rosario, the official would not have the problems of distrust of the rest of Peronism like De Pedro or an ambiguous ideological past like Massa, but he would have the veto of the vice president. In the past year, Rossi has been one of the main allies of President Fernández, whose circle of loyalists is small. He should also increase the flow of knowledge.
A survivor of the Peronist storms who is always among the presidential candidates is the ambassador to Brazil, Daniel Scioli. This motorboater in his youth entered politics at the hands of the right-wing Peronist Carlos Menem. Néstor Kirchner chose him as his vice-presidential candidate in 2003 for purely pragmatic reasons. Some hint of rebellion in the first months of that government triggered a harsh lesson from the Kirchners. Lesson learned, he never quarreled with Nestor or Cristina again. He was governor of the province of Buenos Aires, presidential candidate in 2015 (he lost the second round by just two points against Macri) and today he is one of the few Peronists who can take a photo with the vice president and the president.
There are more applicants in the making; everything can happen The political system never ceases to be prepared for a surprise from Cristina, who in the past demonstrated her ability to maneuver on the ledge and cause the confusion of her own and others. There are still some parishioners who believe that he will be able to convince her to be a candidate, despite the fact that she has already said in all languages that she, at seventy, is not her plan. A central reason that the vice president sometimes made explicit is that she must take care of the health of her daughter, Florencia, who has suffered from various severe symptoms since the courts involved her in legal proceedings in her capacity as heir to Néstor Kirchner.
A central reason that the vice president made explicit a few times is that she must take care of the health of her daughter, Florencia, who has suffered from severe symptoms since the courts involved her in legal proceedings in her capacity as heir to Néstor Kirchner.
The hypothesis of a catastrophic defeat of Peronism is on the table, after a period in which Fernández had to deal with the monumental foreign debt bequeathed by Macri, the pandemic, the war, the greatest drought in a century and the daily bombardment of La Campora.
The polls show an inorganic growth, probably spasmodic, of the far-right Javier Milei, who comes to question what seemed the most likely scenario, a victory for the conservative JxC coalition. The difficulties of this right-wing alliance to process the ultra stalking leave this forecast under observation.
But there is a scenario in which Peronism could win. Inflation and the division in the ruling alliance play a role, but consumption and industrial production data continue to grow, after a two-year period in which GDP jumped 16%, following the collapse of the pandemic.
It could be the case that the right wing is balanced, mutually eroded, and center-left Peronism exceeds 40% of the vote, thus avoiding the second round.
It would be another Peronist miracle.