The recent deal between the Argentine Government of President Alberto Fernández and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is taking its toll on the country's political leadership front after Lower House Majority Leader Máximo Kirchner announced Monday he would resign that position.
The son of former Presidents Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner said he did not approve of the agreement, which was reportedly the result of negotiations by Economy Minister Martín Guzmán and other officials appointed by President Fernández, who do not belong to the Frente de Todos (FdT) movement.
“I have made the decision not to continue in charge of the presidency of the Bloc of Deputies of the Frente de Todos,” Máximo Kirchner said in a statement on social media.
The FdT holds 118 seats in the Lower House, while the Juntos por el Cambio (JxC) alliance has 116. One or two defections can easily affect the political scenario.
”This decision stems from not sharing the strategy used and much less the results obtained in the negotiation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), carried out exclusively by the economic cabinet and the negotiating group that responds and has the absolute confidence of the President of the Nation, to whom I never stopped telling my vision no not reach this outcome. I will remain within the bloc to facilitate the task of the President and his team.”
Although negotiators have reached an accord, it needs to be ratified by Argentina's Congress in order to become effective. Máximo Kirchner's announcement now casts doubts whether that approval will be achieved in March, which adds to the instability of the country's economy, despite recent signs of recovery following the announcements regarding the IMF deal.
President Fernández said that “I spoke with Máximo and told him that I did not agree with his decision. Máximo told me that Cristina didn't either. I understand that there is a diversity of opinions but there are times when a decision has to be made and I am the president.”
Political analysts in Buenos Aires have told MercoPress that a head of state needing to explain to one Congressman that he was in fact in charge of the Executive was not a good sign.
Argentine Central Bank's reserves have been affected last Friday after a sizeable disbursement was made to the IMF, which might limit President Fernández's ability to maneuver in the near future. How much support does the President have from his own party?, wondered a stock trader in downtown Buenos Aires Monday after Máximo's announcement.
As current VicePresident (and Senate Speaker), Cristina Fernández de Kirchner does not have the right to vote in Parliament on the IMF deal unless the Upper House is deadlocked.
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