Monday, October 29

Clintons Hope for Parallels with Argentina

As the wife of the current president of Argentina won the presidency there, I'm sure a certain power couple living in New York are hoping for a similar outcome here.

According to the NY Times: Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the wife of Argentina’s president, Néstor Kirchner, has become the first woman to be elected president in Argentina’s history, according to the latest official results published today.

Mrs. Kirchner, 54, the center-left Peronist party candidate and a senator, defeated a fractured opposition and avoided a runoff.

More than anything, Mrs. Kirchner’s victory would serve as a referendum on the four years under her husband, who steered Argentina out of its worst economic crisis in 2001, when it defaulted on $80 billion in loans.

Argentina is poised to record a sixth year of growth averaging about 8 percent. It is enjoying higher prices for exports of soybeans, corn and meat, has increased its reserves and reduced unemployment and inflation.

While voters appeared to favor a continuation of Mr. Kirchner’s policies, the next president faces the challenge of taming inflation and a looming energy crisis.

Despite approval ratings of more than 60 percent, Mr. Kirchner decided in July not to run for re-election, in what many analysts believe is a strategy to rotate the couple through the Pink House, the presidential palace here, for 12 years. Argentine election law allows a former president to run again after waiting four years on the sidelines.

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