Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner announced Tuesday evening she will be seeking re-election in the next October presidential elections. I always knew what I had to do but I decided to wait until today to announce it she said.
Four days before reaching the deadline for registering presidential candidacies and speaking on national television, the Argentine President confirmed that she would seek re-election next October, announcing that she wants to become “a bridge between the older and the newer generations.”
After the confirmation of her bid to run again, now the lingering question is her running mate, whose identity remains covered by a veil of secrecy. Similarly with the names for the Deputies’ lists in the different electoral circuits particularly the province of Buenos Aires which is crucial.
Speaking in front of government officials, actors, lawmakers and political leaders who gave her a standing ovation, Fernández de Kirchner confirmed that “she would have preferred to make the announcement on a date closer to the deadline, but we’re here now and once again, we will be facing the popular will”.
The Argentine president pointed out that she didn’t make the announcement before out of respect for “a political and institutional responsibility,” but she stressed that “she always knew what she had to do,” even since October 28th, one day after the death of her former husband and President Néstor Kirchner”
At the same time, she explained she would not be formally launching her candidacy in the Teatro Argentino in La Plata since that place holds an important sentimental value for her. Fernández de Kirchner attended several rallies in that theatre, which she shared with her husband.
But Mrs Kirchner also took time to blast the press and some political analysts saying that to the cascade of unfounded attacks, rumours, innuendos, malice to which they exposed her and her late husband Nestor Kirchner, since October 28 two new chapters were added, psychology and medicine, supposedly because of her frail health and emotional condition.
“But I know my job, my responsibilities, and my commitments and since October 28, when I saw so many young people come out in support and say “Fuerza Cristina” (‘keep up, Cristina’), that was it”.
“Mi commitment is inalienable and irrevocable” said the Argentine president. “Every time people tell me ‘Fuerza Cristina’, it’s painful because it brings back memories, but it is also a challenge to keep on with the work he (Nestor Kirchner) started.”
Now that Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has announced that she will be seeking re-election in October, many are wondering who she will pick as her running mate.
And even though there are no clear indications of whom she will eventually choose, in the last few days rumours surfaced that a few political leaders have been short-listed to become her vice-presidential candidates.
The stronger contenders are rumoured to be the current Legal and Technical Advisor Carlos Zannini, Chaco Governor Jorge Capitanich, Salta Governor Juan Manuel Urtubey, and Media Secretary Juan Manuel Abal Medina.
Some others allegedly being considered are Santiago del Estero Governor, Radical Gerardo Zamora, Economy Minister Amado Boudou and Social Development Alicia Kirchner (her sister in law) and even Supreme Court Justice Raúl Zaffaroni.
The promise to act as a bridge between the old and new generations was also seen as a veiled message to the Peronist ruling party old guard and the organized labour movement that have been pressing on Cristina Fernandez for places in the electoral lists for the renewal of the Lower House next October.
In effect Cristina Fernandez has made part of her strategy promoting and encouraging young leaders including her own son Maximo who leads the youth group La Campora. She is also known to loathe the picket and pressure tactics of her ally and leader of organized labour Hugo Moyano, who has the virtue of scaring away middle of the road voters.
Opposition leaders criticized the fact the Argentine president used national television to make the announcement with the excuse of the promulgation of a national television bill that will award open channels among provincial governments and universities, plus the distribution of decoders for the new system among pensioners.
Opinion polls indicate the president is leading comfortably, in spite of several scandals, boosted by an economy that has been expanding for the last seven years and a consumer spending spree plus a divided almost atomized opposition.
To make the announcement more emotive it was done from the same hall former president Nestor Kirchner was mourned last October.