Alberto Fernandez (centre-left), Argentina’s president since 2019, announced on Friday (April 21) that he will not seek re-election in October’s general election. The decision further opens up the field of an already uncertain ballot. The 64-year-old head of state will hand it over on December 10, when the president’s mandate expires. “Presidential Saree for Legally Elected”He announced in a video.
Alberto Fernandez had so far cast doubt on his participation in the August government camp primaries. And his surprise announcement, especially in a feverish economic environment, sees inflation at 21.7% in three months and 104.3% year-on-year after 94.8% in 2022.
It caps a week of increased pressure on Argentina’s currency, the peso, which has been steadily depreciating against the dollar. The peso was at 225 to the dollar at the official rate on Wednesday, but at 432 to the dollar at the unofficial rate.
Last month, in his last public policy speech to Parliament, Alberto Fernández defended his three-year presidency in a hostile environment marked by Covid, the impact of the war in Ukraine, Argentina’s debt and chronic inflation. However, two years in a row (10.3% in 2021, 5.4% in 2022), unprecedented in Argentina for twelve years.
The way has been opened for two prominent figures of the opposition alliance
His departure leaves a particularly uncertain electoral field, with no clear candidate emerging at this point in the ruling coalition’s (centre-left) camp. Vice President Cristina Kirchner, head of state from 2007 to 2015 and successor to the Peronist current, announced at the end of 2022 that she would not run, shortly after being convicted in an investigation of fraud and corruption during her presidential mandates.
The economy minister since last July, 50-year-old Sergio Massa, a former presidential candidate (in 2015), has been presented several times in the press as a possible candidate, although this hypothesis is closely linked to the stabilization of the economy. In opposition, the previous president (from 2015 to 2019), the liberal Mauricio Macri, announced in March that he would not run for the presidency, leaving behind long doubts.
The move opened the way for Juntos por el Cambio, two key figures in the opposition coalition to step aside, who announced their candidacy: Horacio Larreta, 57, mayor of Buenos Aires since 2015 (center right), and Patricia Bullrich, 66, former right-hand man in the Macri government. Defense Minister
Argentina’s general elections will be held on October 22nd, with the election likely to take place on November 19th. The primary will be held on August 13 in both the government and opposition camps.
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