Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Polling Ahead, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner Unveils Running Mate

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on June 29, 2011

by Roque Planas for Americas Society / Council of the Americas, June 28th, 2011.

With four days to go before the deadline to declare her candidacy, Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner announced on June 21 that she would seek reelection in the October 23 presidential elections, ending several weeks of speculation. She currently leads the pack of presidential hopefuls, with pollster OPSM estimating Fernández would win comfortably in the first round if the election were held today. But given that most observers expected her to run, there was just as much interest in who she’d select as her running mate. Fernández de Kirchner picked a vice president who she praised for his loyalty—economy minister Amado Boudou. Her choice also reflects her intention to make her administration’s economic model, which combines elements of nationalism and state support of local industry with export-driven growth, the centerpiece of her campaign. She described her selection of Boudou as a “redefinition” of the office of vice president, which normally falls to a traditional politician rather than a government minister.

As economy minister, Boudou presided over a post-2008 recovery that delivered 9.1 percent growth over the first four months of this year. The program of reindustrialization he manages has created jobs in the manufacturing sector, winning him points with Argentina’s powerful labor unions. The electric-guitar playing, motorcycle-riding 47-year-old with a winning smile appeals to Argentina’s youth, and some think Fernández’s selection of Boudou may be part of a wider strategy of cultivating new leaders and appealing to a new generation of voters.  (continue reading… )

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