Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Don’t rule out Cristina

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on June 21, 2011

by Daniel Kerner for Foreign Policy, June 14th, 2011.

Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has been playing hard to get when it comes to running for reelection this fall. “I’m not dying to be president again, boys,” she told a group of trade unionists recently. Similarly elusive statements, coupled with her recent health complications (which prompted her to delay a trip to Mexico in April), as well as grief over losing her husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, have sparked rumors that she will step down when her term ends.

Most pundits justify those rumors by pointing to fear-namely, that Fernandez de Kirchner is worried about stumbling under the weight of further political and economic troubles. Argentina’s already high inflation rate is on the rise, and the next government will likely have to contend with growing economic distortions. Moreover, as a second-term president, Fernandez de Kirchner would be a lame duck, and some believe she would struggle to contain the country’s intensifying political pressures. Her ongoing tussle with the head of Argentina’s labor movement, Hugo Moyano, is a good example of the challenges she might face.

But it would be unlike Fernandez de Kirchner to abandon a political battle. If she declined to run, the storyline would be that she couldn’t handle governing without her husband, and it’s hard to imagine her bowing out with that legacy. In fact, she’s more likely to tweak the constitution to avoid becoming a lame duck than to sit on the sidelines during the 23 October election. (continue reading… )

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