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Montevideo, June 24th 2022 - 23:29 UTC



Argentina: Free and in active politics.

Wednesday, November 21st 2001 - 20:00 UTC
Full article

With aides promising a quick return to politics and a bid for a third presidential term, former president Carlos Menem recovered this Tuesday his freedom after spending several months in house arrest for his alleged involvement in arms smuggling to Croatia and Ecuador in violation of international agreements.

The federal court ruling ordered the immediate release of Mr. Menem and several of his close aides, following a ruling by the Argentine Supreme Court that denied the applicability in the case of an "illicit association" accusation.

Although Mr. Menem and his aides argued all along they did not know the weapons would be diverted illegally, his accusers declared the ruling "shameful" since they consider the Argentine Supreme Court biased because most members were appointed by Mr. Menem, and its president was once his partner in a law firm in La Rioja.

However the release means Mr. Menem will return to full time politics, his great passion, and this means trouble for all the other Peronist presidential hopefuls, most of whom did not even visit him while in house arrest with his second wife, Chilean born former beauty queen Cecilia Bolocco.

Among them his former vice-president and now elected Senator Eduardo Duhalde; Buenos Aires province governor Carlos Ruckauf; Córdoba province governor Eduardo De la Sota and Santa Fe governor, Carlos Reutemann.

This should also come as a relief for embattled President De la Rúa and Finance Minister Domingo Cavallo involved in the ever awesome task of convincing creditors and bond holders to restructure Argentina's 128 billion US dollars debt.

Mr. Menem is expected to announce this week his political intentions, while at the same time expressing full support to Argentina's democratic institutions and elected officials.

Starting point for a long crusade to recover control over the Peronist party and eventually the Casa Rosada in 2003.

Categories: Mercosur.

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