In spite of the volcanic ash cloud that is still hovering over parts of Argentina, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner resumed a round of visits to provinces scheduled to hold elections in the next two weeks and in anticipation of what is considered her decision to bid for re-election next October.
According to the Argentine press, the campaign trail was agreed following a meeting of Mrs. Kirchner with her two children and closest aides when it was finally decided that Cristina Fernandez will effectively run for re-election. Her bid must be registered before the end of June.
Her children feared their mother (who suffers low blood pressure) could not stand a gruelling campaign and the next four years with organized labour marching in the streets. The main opposition was from her daughter Florencia. The son Maximo is full into politics and his youth group, La Campora has been assured second place in several electoral lists to Congress.
A close ally of the Kirchnerite bunker, lawmaker Martin Sabbatella announced there is “no doubt” that President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner “will be a candidate representing officialism in the next presidential elections”
The electoral agenda showed that Cristina Fernandez on Wednesday was expected in Cordoba to inaugurate a local airport that was named after her late husband “Nestor Kirchner”, but the ash conspired. Nevertheless from Casa Rosada and next to several ministers Cristina Fernandez said the Argentine economy in the last twelve months had expanded at 9.9% and is expected to end 2011 having grown 8%.
“Our trade surplus in the first five months is already 4.8 billion US dollars”, said the president in a video conference. Cordoba is holding local elections August 7 and political alliances have yet to be sealed and Mrs. Kirchner was expected to give her blessings to one of the governor hopefuls.
On Thursday Mrs Kirchner visited the northeast province of Misiones where she promised support for yerba mate and tea farmers, inaugurated new wards in a local hospital and a refurbished theatre.
The Argentine president also took time to show the flag and blast British PM Cameron on his negative to hold negotiations on the Falklands sovereignty as “mandated by UN”. She used the words “mediocre and stupid” to describe Cameron’s stance.
Misiones is holding elections for governor and local legislative next June 26. Governor Maurice Closs is running for re-election and Mrs. Kirchner’s Victory Front supports Luis Viana. Nevertheless both candidates have expressed support for Cristina Fernandez at national level and her re-election bid.
On Monday, National Flag Day, Mrs Kirchner is scheduled to visit Rosario, province of Santa Fe where the governor has announced his intention of running for the presidency next October 26 on a Socialist ticket. Santa Fe is Argentina’s fourth most important electoral circuit and Governor Hermes Binner has strong support as well as the ruling coalition but in dispersed groups.
At the foot of the Monument to the Flag, Mrs Kirchner next to Binner will head the military and schools parade and share the strand with Santa Fe minister Antonio Bonfatti and lawmaker Agustín Rossi head of the Kirchnerite deputies in the federal congress, both candidates for governor of Santa Fe next July 24.
Finally the Argentine president is not scheduled to visit Tierra del Fuego which is holding elections next June 26. Governor Fabiana Rios is running for re-election but has cobbled together a local alliance under the name of Patagonia Social party. Although Ms Rios is trying to underline her alignment with Cristina Fernandez, the president is supporting an opposition candidate Rosana Bertone, which was confirmed in local campaign spots.