Argentina: 14 hopefuls register for Oct 28 presidential elections
Senator Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Argentina's First Lady, will face two major opposition contenders among the 14 candidates who registered by Sunday's deadline for October 28th presidential election.
Cristina Fernandez, representing the Victory Front ruling coalition of her husband, President Nestor Kirchner tops most public opinion polls against a feuding, divided, uninspiring opposition. The First Lady's chief challenger is Roberto Lavagna, the former economy minister for President Nestor Kirchner. Lavagna is running on the centrist coalition ticket. The contenders also include veteran lawmaker Elisa Carrio, a center-left independent and critic of the government. Other candidates include three from different wings of the long-dominant Peronist catch all party. The current Kirchner administration riding on a four year economic recovery has managed to unite a broad coalition of leftist Peronists, supporters from Argentina's centrist Radical party, several smaller parties and a majority of independents satisfied with the current consumer boom. Many polls have shown that Mrs. Kirchner could garner the 45% of the ballot needed to win thus avoiding a runoff. Former President Carlos Menem did not register after his attempt at a political comeback ended with a third-place defeat in a recent election for governor of La Rioja state, his former stronghold. However he has an agreement with other orthodox Peronists and will be supporting the candidacy of reelected San Luis Governor Alberto Rodríguez Saá, whose brother Adolfo was a two day caretaker president when the melting of the Argentine economy and default during the 2001/2002 crisis.