Argentina suffers the consequences of divorce. A non-consensual divorce, one that goes to court and the obsession of a bygone is now the fuel for the most bitter disputes. The South American country suffers the political misery of a leadership that vehemently resolves its conflicts. President Alberto Fernández and his vice president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, no longer speak to each other. The background is a rivalry for sea power, but there is also a difference in the direction that the two intend for Argentina. And the sin of birth: Alberto Fernandez was anointed by Christina Kirchner as a candidate for the presidency and he credits his chair at Casa Rosada to her. The experiment served to avoid Mauricio Macri’s second term in October 2019; But the political anomaly that holds that a vice president has more power than a president has failed once in government.
Last Thursday Argentina celebrated the 46th anniversary of the military coup against Isabel Perón. President Fernandez conducted a short protocol act, while Cristina Kirchner and her political group, La Campora, mobilized 70,000 toward Plaza de Mayo, the quintessence of political power in Argentina. The head of the mobilization was Maximo Kirchner, the son of the vice president. La Campora appeared on the street and sent a clear message to Casa Rosada: We are the people, the true electoral base of the government, the creditors of the presidential power. Meanwhile, Fernandez called for unity, reassuring that the only chance of winning the 2023 general elections lies in a coalition behind a single candidate.
The bloodshed between Alberto Fernández and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner came late last year, when the ruling Frente de Todos suffered a serious setback in mandatory primary elections. The Vice President blamed his political dolphin for the defeat. Ministers who reacted to him submitted their resignations and forced Fernandez to change the cabinet which was not in his plans. Two months later, elections confirmed the defeat of government candidates for Congress. Christina Kirchner remained silent, but her affair with Fernandez, her former chief of staff, had already ended. The last straw was the agreement Argentina signed with the IMF this week for a $45,000 million loan. Kirchnerism voted against the text in Congress, arguing that adjustments to the economy, as agreed by Fernandez, would put any chances of victory in the 2023 general elections to death.
“There are two groups that believe they have the right to make decisions, two leaders who claim decision-making power in the last instance,” says Sergio Moresi, a political scientist at the Universidad del Littoral. “And although the Constitution of Argentina states that executive power rests exclusively on the President, the truth is that this Vice President has his own power beyond his institutional position. And it is in her own power that she demands that the president be considered to fulfill a popular mandate, for which she (and those who support her) feel that she is the best interpreter,” she said. says. A strong man of Kirchnerism, Andrés Larroque said this clearly during March 24. Fernández, he said, “was the campaign manager of the place, receiving four points in the election of the province of Buenos Aires. Front called it on Christina’s initiative.”
In the presidential party they disagree with this reading of “borrowed power”. If Christina Kirchner anointed her as a candidate, it was because she knew she couldn’t win on her own. Alberto Fernandez, under this reading, is a necessary condition for Frente de Todos’ victory against Macri in 2019. Therefore, they argue, they have the right to exercise power as they wish. It is an in depth about different readings of reality. The economic crisis is in full swing. Inflation is on the rise (it’s already over 50% per year), and the president believes the agreement with the IMF is the first step toward leaving. Kirchnerism, on the other hand, maintains that nothing good can be expected from the IMF, and that it is better to move as far away from Fernández as possible, while Casa Rosada insists on moving hopelessly towards the abyss. Is. If the government has its share of failures, it is better to stay away from the shock wave.
So is Argentina definitely on the verge of collapse of the government alliance? “I don’t think so,” says Eduardo Fidanza, director of the consulting firm Poliarquia. “This is not convenient for any party, as it will fragment the Peronist vote and ensure electoral defeat in 2023 from now on,” he says. Pablo Touzan, political scientist and director of Scenario Advisory, sees the potential for a terminal crisis. “There is a decision made by Christianity: it believes that from PASO [primarias] And the defeat of the legislative elections, the figure of Alberto Fernández has no leadership”, he explains. Sergio Morsi agrees that the crisis is “very serious”, but believes that “beyond the desire of a part of the leadership, there are other areas, even at the grassroots, to maintain the unity of the front”. are emphasizing. of all”.
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In those areas is Alberto Fernandez himself. Over the past week, the president’s strategy has been to spread the idea that a fracture opens the door to a return to the authority of power, represented by Mauricio Macri. Macri, for Peronism, is the culmination of all evil. Fernandez does not speak to his vice, but calls to the media. From the environment of Christina Kirchner, he says, “Anyone who believes it will have an effect has no idea how the Vice President thinks.” The massive March 24 demonstration was proof of this: true power is in the street and can be demonstrated. And the disapproval of the IMF was the flag.
In Argentina, however, no one is very clear where to get out of the swamp. “Christianity has a statement, but it has no real project for the country,” explains Pablo Touzón. “The reason why he chooses to leave is because he lacks an alternative solution to this proposed by the IMF. What he wants to preserve is a kind of center of values and meaning”, he says.
That nucleus is the last hope of Christina Kirchner and her movement, which she sees as the irreparable failure of the government she herself envisioned. Alberto Fernández, meanwhile, receives pressure from his environment to form the “Albertismo”, a movement that breaks ties with Kirchnerism supported by the power of Peronist governors and unions who support it.
“I don’t give Alberto Fernandez many chances, although he and his close group believe he can run for re-election,” says Eduardo Fidanza. “In the current economic and social situation, their chances are very small,” he says. Sergio Morsi agrees. “First of all, President Fernandez is not determined to start a movement of his own and do without his allies, even though some of them want to do without him and proceed to undermine his ability to function. . Secondly, it seems to me that we are passing through a very delicate social and economic moment, and the conditions to launch our own political movement are not at all optimal”, he says. Alberto Fernandez’s government has two years left in his term, and he must navigate the desert.
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