Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Argentina’s presidential race: Will she, won’t she?

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on May 27, 2011

by The Economist – Americas View, May 26th, 2011.

The unusual coyness of Cristina Fernández

For months most Argentines have assumed that Cristina Fernández de Kirchner will be re-elected as their president in a vote due in October. Thanks to a strong economy, a hapless opposition and a wave of sympathy after the sudden death last year of Néstor Kirchner, her husband and predecessor, her candidacy seems unstoppable. The only cause for doubt is that Ms Fernández has not yet said that she will run. With just a month left for candidates to announce, she is keeping the country guessing. “I’m not dying to be president again,” she said on May 12th. “I’ve given everything there is to give.”

The commentariat in Buenos Aires has dismissed Ms Fernández’s indecision as an artful political tactic—just as it was in 2007, when she and Mr Kirchner waited until the last possible moment to announce which of them would run. The longer she dallies, says Sergio Berensztein of Torcuato Di Tella University, the longer she can remain above the electoral fray in her popular roles as president and widow. Luis Tonelli, a columnist for Debate magazine, calls it a “clamour operation”, intended to prompt a groundswell of public demand for her candidacy. And Manuel Mora y Araujo of Ipsos, a polling company, sees it as a warning to Hugo Moyano, the head of Argentina’s umbrella trade union: if he does not reduce his demands for political influence, Ms Fernández could quit, leaving a far less labour-friendly successor. (continue reading… )

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