Alberto FERNANDEZ: Argentina’s New President
The eighth largest country of the world Argentina has been going through a severe economic crisis just like many other Latin American nations. Among other Latin American nations, Argentina’s economy is the third largest and the second largest in South America with relatively a very high GDP per capita. However, Argentina has had a history of high inflation, the greatest weakness of the nation’s economy. President Mauricio Macri’s austerity measures to improve the economy has not only failed, but also has cost him his Presidency.
Argentina is going through a catastrophic economic crisis and the challenges ahead are uphill for the newly-elected President Alberto Fernandez to overcome. On the 27th of October 2019, Alberto Fernandez won the Presidential election winning 48.1% of the votes defeating Mauricio Macri, who could only manage to win 40.4% of the votes. Fernandez’s win also brings back the Peronist party back in power. It also brings back the tainted and corrupt former populist President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in limelight for the significant role she played during the Presidential election.
Alberto Fernandez won the Presidential election on the Peronist ticket. He will be sworn in on the 10th of December 2019 as Argentina’s 41st President. Cristina Kirchner will be his Vice President. There are high hopes from Argentines, who celebrated Fernandez and Kirchner’s win. It will be interesting to see, how they would fare to revive the sliding economy and lives of the people.
After winning the election, Alberto Fernandez thanked everyone and enthused, “We are going to be the Argentina that we deserve, because it's not true that we are condemned to this Argentina. We are going to enter the world with dignity. The government is back in the hands of the people.” Mauricio Macri conceded defeat and stated, “The only thing that matters here, is the future and well-being of Argentines.”
It is interesting to note that even before taking the office, there are words that Alberto Fernandez will be just the face of Argentina’s President. His Vice President Cristina Kirchner will be the one, who would run the government and control the power equation. Alberto Fernandez was able to defeat Mauricio Macri, because Cristina Kirchner exploited him to lead the ticket under Frente de Todos – a coalition supporting Fernandez. It is obvious that Fernandez owes Kirchner his win over Macri.
Cristina Kirchner commands a strong political block in Argentina, in spite of her corrupt image. Alberto Fernandez and Kirchner had been in loggerheads in the past over farmers’ issues. Under Cristina’s late husband President Nestor Kirchner, Alberto Fernandez first became Cabinet Chief and served from 2003 to 2007. Cristina succeeded her husband as Argentina’s President on the 10th of December 2007. In 2008, Alberto Fernandez quit Cristina’s government over increase in taxes on agricultural exports.
From being Cristina’s Cabinet Chief, Alberto Fernandez became her critic and collaborated with few sectors of the opposition. He was vocal about Cristina’s bad governance and various faulty policies of the government. However, when he was running for the Presidential election, he maintained a very low profile till May 2019. Cristina saw the opportunity and made Alberto the face of success by supporting him. He has since changed stance about Cristina, knowing well how powerful she is in the political circuit.
Cristina Kirchner has been embroiled in various corruption charges and has even gone to trial. She has so far escaped being indicted for multiple corruption charges, because she has the Parliamentary Immunity of being a Senator. So far so good, she has escaped pretrial detention. Political analysts believe Kirchner has taken a leaf from Putin’s political stunt for taking the secondary role of the Prime Minister and returning back after four years as the President.
It will be really interesting to see how Alberto Fernandez would handle Cristina Kirchner. Some analysts believe, there will be tussle between the two over control of power. Both individuals have strong personalities and history for not agreeing and compromising with each other over several issues. However, if the coalition support between the two would not work, it will be the loss of the millions of Argentines, who voted them to power. In politics, one can trust no one because every single politician is corrupt to the core.
Alberto Fernandez has vowed to improve the nation, which is facing 55% of inflation, 35% of poverty, severe economic crisis, drained Central Bank Reserves and a whopping external debt. The road ahead for Alberto Fernandez and Cristina Kirchner is full of thorns and tall mountains. Will it be worth for these two leaders to fight for power over their inflated egos? The world will have to wait and watch when they take to office on the 10th of December 2019.
Alberto Fernandez promised to reduce tariffs for small businesses, boost pensions for retirees and renegotiate a record $57 billion pact with the IMF, so that there is less onerous on Argentines. How will he manoeuvre the sliding economy to fulfill the hopes of the nation is the big question! It sure is an uphill task and people’s patience has already run out of steam. Progress will not be fast as Argentines hope it to be by just overthrowing a President and electing a new one.
The current situation of the nation is at standstill with Macri’s clueless governance. Reviving the already faltering economy will be Alberto Fernandez’s biggest challenge. In every election around the world, politicians lie to give false hope to the citizen. Once in power, all they do is accumulate more wealth and care a damn about citizen’s problems. Will Alberto Fernandez be any different from the rest of the politicians of the world?
The 40% Argentines, who voted for Mauricio Macri are skeptical about Alberto Fernandez and Cristina Kirchner’s government, because of her past corruption charges. Majority of Argentines are struggling and living in extreme poverty – the fact, Macri overlooked from his crystal tower and cost him his Presidency. Macri was the President of the rich and liberal about Capitalism. Small businesses struggled to keep their shutters open under Macri’s rule. The downward economic spiral Argentina has been facing is really daunting and increasing woes of the people.
Alberto Angel Fernandez was born on the 2nd of April 1959 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Alberto was educated at the Law School at the University of Buenos Aires. At 24, he graduated with a Law degree and taught Criminal Law as a Professor. Later, he worked as an adviser to Deliberative Council of Buenos Aires and the Argentine Chamber of Deputies. His expertise and hard work saw Alberto Fernandez becoming the Deputy Director of Legal Affairs of the Economy Ministry. He also served as the Chief Argentine Negotiator at the GATT Uruguay Round
President Carlos Menem nominated Alberto Fernandez as National Superintendent for Insurance in 1989. He served as the President of the Latin American Insurance Managers’ Association till 1992. He was one of the co-founders of the Insurance Managers International Association. In the year 1992, Alberto Fernandez was named as one of the ‘Top Outstanding Young People of Argentina’. He was also honoured with the Millennium Award for his major contribution and success as one of Argentina’s ‘Businessmen of the Century’. He was rubbing shoulders with Buenos Aires Province Governor and the likes.
On the 7th of 2000, Alberto Fernandez was elected to the Buenos Aires City Legislature on the conservative Action for the Republic ticket led by former Economy Minister Domingo Cavallo. Three years later, President Nestor Kirchner appointed him as Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers on the 25th of May 2003. He served the post till 2008, when Alberto quit the then President Cristina Kirchner’s government.
Political reckoning saw Alberto Fernandez being named Head of the City of Buenos Aires chapter of the Justicialist Party – a Peronist political party, popularly known as ‘PJ’. In the year 2009, Alberto maintained a low profile during the ‘Front for Victory’ campaigns for Congress. In the year 2011, Alberto Fernandez was considering for Presidential nomination. However, later he went onto endorse President Cristina Kirchner for re-election. In the year 2015, he played a significant role as the Campaign Manager for Sergio Massa in the Presidential election.
The year 2019 was destined for Alberto Fernandez’s great success in Argentina’s political arena. On the 18th of May 2019, Cristina Kirchner announced Alberto Fernandez as the Presidential candidate. A month later, Sergio Massa and Alberto Fernandez reached an agreement to form the alliance Frente de Todos. On the 28th July 2019, Alberto announced that as the next President, he would stop paying the interests to Leliq – Central Bank Liquidity Bills to finance a 20% increase in retirement.
In the Primary elections on the 11th of August 2019, Alberto Fernandez won the top spot with 47%. Macri could manage just 32%. Three days later, Alberto announced that he would help Macri to finish his term with no risk at all. The rest is history now. Alberto Fernandez became the first Argentine challenger to unseat an incumbent President.