Kirchner’s desperate ploy for power
Ariel Sribman Mittelman
El País (Spain)
Former Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner wants her old job back, said Ariel Sribman Mittelman, and she won’t let political convention stand in her way. The 66-year-old leftist—who succeeded her husband, Néstor Kirchner, as president in 2007 and reached her two-term limit in 2015—is facing charges of bribery, embezzlement, and money laundering stemming from her time in office. Now she is running again, this time as vice president to her late husband’s chief of staff, Alberto Fernández (no relation). Technically, this is allowed: Presidents are limited to two consecutive four-year terms but can run again after sitting out a term. Still, Kirchner is “blowing up tradition.” She clearly sees Fernández as her puppet, someone to occupy the office while she pulls the strings. Kirchner is promoting the message “that the vice presidency and the presidency itself are at her personal service.” We can foresee an outcome whereby she could maneuver Fernández to resign, and then she would again take the helm. And this is a real possibility, because polls show the Fernández-Kirchner ticket neck and neck with that of the incumbent center-right president, Mauricio Macri. Kirchner is not “even minimally worried about the prestige and credibility of her country’s institutions.” But voters should be.