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19/05/2007 | The first lady steps out

The Economist Staff

An official announcement is not expected until next month, and may come even later. But all the signs—including leaks from senior ministers—are that the Kirchner family candidate in a presidential election due in October will not be Néstor, the incumbent, but Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the first lady.

 

Since the economy is growing at over 8% for the fifth successive year and the opposition to the ruling Peronists is in disarray, either can be expected to win handily. But why might Mr Kirchner yield to his wife, a senator and an experienced politician in her own right?

Opponents say that his government is losing credibility. It has massaged the inflation figures, and has been tarred by a bribery scandal. Its grip over unions and social movements is eroding; on May 12th teachers demanding higher salaries in Mr Kirchner's home province jostled and threw eggs at his sister, Alicia, the social-development minister.

But polls suggest Mr Kirchner would win even more easily than his wife. Officials hint that the switch of candidate corresponds to changing times. By facing down foreign creditors and keeping a tight grip on the Peronist street, Mr Kirchner helped Argentina recover from its economic collapse of 2001-02, they say. His more moderate wife would be better at repairing relations with the outside world and might appeal to middle-class voters alienated by her husband's impatience with checks and balances.

If Ms Fernández is indeed the next president, the biggest change might come in foreign policy. That is a subject for which Mr Kirchner has shown extraordinary disdain—he notoriously stood up Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands when she made a state visit to Argentina last year. By contrast, Ms Fernández has made a string of foreign visits in recent months, signing agreements in the president's name.

She would probably seek to distance Argentina from Hugo Chávez, Venezuela's leftist president. She has close ties with several American politicians. “If she is president, the relationship [with the United States] will change,” says Héctor Timerman, the Argentine consul in New York. A better rapport might make Argentina more palatable to investors and help the country restructure the $7 billion it owes to other governments.

At home, she might be less confrontational than her husband, and less concerned to micro-manage Congress and the cabinet. But all this adds up to nuances of difference, rather than a change of course. And if she does become president, what role would be played by the First Man? He might continue to manage relations with the Peronist base. “I hope Cristina doesn't kick me out” of the presidential residence, Mr Kirchner has reportedly said. Doubtless his continued occupancy would be part of the deal.

The Economist (Reino Unido)

 


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17/01/2009|
17/01/2009|
17/01/2009|
17/01/2009|
11/01/2009|
06/12/2008|
06/12/2008|
06/12/2008|
06/12/2008|
23/11/2008|
23/11/2008|
16/11/2008|
16/11/2008|
04/11/2008|
04/11/2008|
03/11/2008|
03/11/2008|
24/10/2008|
24/10/2008|
24/10/2008|
24/10/2008|
15/09/2008|
15/09/2008|
15/09/2008|
15/09/2008|
15/09/2008|
15/09/2008|
06/09/2008|
06/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
22/08/2008|
22/08/2008|
17/08/2008|
17/08/2008|
16/08/2008|
16/08/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
19/07/2008|
19/07/2008|
24/05/2008|
24/05/2008|
03/05/2008|
03/05/2008|
29/04/2008|
11/02/2008|
05/01/2008|
09/12/2007|
18/11/2007|
10/11/2007|
10/11/2007|
06/11/2007|
06/11/2007|
06/09/2007|
26/08/2007|
25/08/2007|
11/07/2007|
16/06/2007|
16/06/2007|
10/06/2007|
10/06/2007|
19/05/2007|
19/05/2007|
24/04/2007|
24/04/2007|
14/04/2007|
14/04/2007|
05/04/2007|
05/04/2007|
05/04/2007|
28/02/2007|
28/02/2007|
05/02/2007|
05/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
29/01/2007|
29/01/2007|
29/01/2007|
29/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
20/12/2006|
20/12/2006|
17/11/2006|
30/09/2006|
28/07/2006|
12/04/2006|
12/04/2006|
12/04/2006|
06/03/2006|
21/02/2006|
17/02/2006|
31/01/2006|
10/01/2006|
28/12/2005|
31/10/2005|
26/09/2005|
29/08/2005|
11/08/2005|
08/08/2005|
24/06/2005|
24/06/2005|
24/06/2005|
03/04/2005|
03/04/2005|
03/04/2005|
03/04/2005|

ver + notas
 
Center for the Study of the Presidency
Freedom House