LatinNews Daily - 18 May 2023

ARGENTINA: Fernández rules herself out - again

On 17 May, the local media reported that Argentina’s Vice President Cristina Fernández would speak at a political event on 25 May, the day after she once more ruled herself out of running for the ruling left-of-centre Frente de Todos (FdT) coalition in the 22 October presidential election.


The FdT is again struggling to find a viable presidential candidate. Since receiving a provisional sentence of six years’ imprisonment and a lifetime ban on holding public office in a corruption case last December, Vice President Fernández (who also served two presidential terms from 2007-2015) has claimed she is the victim of a politically motivated “ban”. In an open letter published on 16 May she once again reiterated that claim, and insisted she will not run for any elected office this year. Her decision not to run is a setback for ‘Operación clamor’, a campaign of mass rallies designed to make her change her mind, which is behind the 25 May event.

  • The reality is that amid an acute economic crisis the ruling coalition is deeply fragmented, with up to a dozen presidential hopefuls, principally from within the Partido Justicialista (PJ, Peronists) fighting for position. Alberto Fernández, the unpopular outgoing president, formally ruled himself out of a re-election bid last month. Sergio Massa, a moderate Peronist leader who is currently economy minister, is a possible contender but he is tainted by the relentless rise in inflation. Another moderate, the current ambassador to Brazil and former vice president (2003-2007), Daniel Scioli, has thrown his hat into the ring. The cabinet chief, Agustín Rossi, has said that he too is considering running.
  • There is divided counsel within the vice president’s populist nationalist faction known as Kirchnerismo. Hours after her open letter was published, painted slogans appeared in neighbourhoods around Buenos Aires proclaiming ‘Wado with Cristina 2023’ promoting the candidature of the interior minister, Eduardo ‘Wado’ de Pedro. But the vice president has also been close to, and might consider endorsing, Buenos Aires provincial governor Axel Kicillof.

Looking Ahead: With national primaries due on 13 August, political parties and presidential candidates will need to finalise coalitions and candidate lists in June/July at the latest. The growth of the far right ‘punishment vote’ means a second run-off ballot is increasingly likely.

Intelligence Research Ltd.
167-169 Great Portland Street,
5th floor,
London, W1W 5PF - UK
Phone : +44 (0) 203 695 2790
You may contact us via our online contact form
Copyright © 2022 Intelligence Research Ltd. All rights reserved.