News / Americas

Argentina's Fernandez Loses Clout in Midterm Election

Citizens look for their names outside a public school before voting in nationwide congressional elections in Buenos Aires October 27, 2013.Citizens look for their names outside a public school before voting in nationwide congressional elections in Buenos Aires October 27, 2013.
x
Citizens look for their names outside a public school before voting in nationwide congressional elections in Buenos Aires October 27, 2013.
Citizens look for their names outside a public school before voting in nationwide congressional elections in Buenos Aires October 27, 2013.
Reuters
Argentine leader Cristina Fernandez's allies took a beating in Sunday's midterm congressional election, snuffing out chances of a constitutional change to allow her a third term and kicking off a succession struggle ahead of the 2015 presidential vote.

Voters went to the polls under sunny Southern Hemisphere skies to choose half of the lower house of Congress and a third of the Senate in Sunday's vote, marking 30 years of democracy following a 1976-1983 military dictatorship.

Re-elected in 2011 on promises of increasing state control in Latin America's No. 3 economy, Fernandez's political coattails were trimmed by inflation, clocked by private analysts at 25 percent, while heavy-handed currency controls and falling central bank reserves have dented confidence.

Candidates sponsored by Argentine opposition leader Sergio Massa won the House of Deputies' midterm by a 10-percentage-point margin in the key province of Buenos Aires, according to exit poll announced on local television. About the size of Italy, Buenos Aires province is home to 40 percent of Argentina's population and most of the country's agricultural output.

Massa, the mayor of the affluent Buenos Aires town of Tigre, headed his own list of candidates for Congress and is seen as a possible, business-friendly presidential contender in 2015.

”Tomorrow, we start with a new political map,” said Buenos Aires mayor Mauricio Macri, another possible presidential candidate who promises a shift toward market-friendly policies.

No third term

Other exit polls announced on television showed Fernandez's candidates losing in key provinces around the country.

Some legislators had said they wanted a constitutional amendment to allow the ailing president to run for a third term. But the poor showing by Fernandez's branch of the Peronist party in Sunday's mid-term dashed those hopes once and for all.

FILE - Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez is seen sitting in a car as she arrives at a hospital in Buenos Aires October 7, 2013.FILE - Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez is seen sitting in a car as she arrives at a hospital in Buenos Aires October 7, 2013.
x
FILE - Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez is seen sitting in a car as she arrives at a hospital in Buenos Aires October 7, 2013.
FILE - Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez is seen sitting in a car as she arrives at a hospital in Buenos Aires October 7, 2013.
To push through the legislation, they would need two-thirds support in both houses. If the exit polls prove accurate, Fernandez would not come close to achieving that level of support for another run for the presidency.

Fernandez was unable to campaign for her congressional candidates since an October 8 operation to remove blood that pooled on her brain after she fell and hurt her head in August. She is expected to continue convalescing for another few weeks.

The surgery marked the latest in a series of health issues for the 60-year-old leader, including low blood pressure and a thyroid tumor that also was surgically removed.

Speaking to local television, Fernandez's son, Maximo Kirchner, declined to speculate on when his mother would return to work. “She's OK. She's in a good mood,” he said.
      
High stakes

As expected, Massa beat his rival, Martin Insaurralde, Fernandez's handpicked Buenos Aires candidate.

Massa - who vows to fight crime, combat inflation and improve farm profits - appeared well positioned to run for president. But Argentine history shows midterm victors are rarely able to sustain momentum and clinch the nomination.

A dark horse could appear within the next two years, as was the case with former president Carlos Menem, who burst onto the scene in 1989, and Nestor Kirchner in 2003.

Sunday was the third anniversary of the death of Kirchner, who was married to Fernandez, preceded her as president and set the tone for her policies.

At play in 2015 is policy in one of the world's top grains exporters as it struggles to keep up with rising world food demand and attract investment needed to exploit the vast Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas formation in Patagonia.

Argentina's peso weakened past 10 to the U.S. dollar in informal trade last week, widening its breach with the formal rate of 5.88 pesos per greenback. Central bank international reserves are at $34 billion, down from $43 billion in January.

But stocks and bonds have rallied on hopes of market-friendly policy changes ahead.

The blue-chip Merval stock index is up nearly 50 percent since the August 12 midterm primary.

Sunday's vote also tested the support of presidential hopefuls Julio Cobos, a Radical Party member from Mendoza; Hermes Binner, a socialist from Santa Fe; and Buenos Aires Governor Daniel Scioli, an ally of the president despite his market-friendly views.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Vazquez Is Favorite to Win Uruguay Presidential Vote

Leftist ruling party candidate buoyed by widespread affection for country's outgoing leader, strong economic growth
More

Brazil's Rousseff Struggles to Limit Petrobras Scandal's Damage

President expects bribery scandal at state-run oil company to deteriorate in coming months, aides say, with arrests possible for some political allies
More

Mexico, Central America Hail Obama's Immigration Reform

Mexican leader calls US president's proposals 'most important measures taken in several decades'
More

Torturers of Chilean President's Father Sentenced to Jail

Judge sentences 2 retired colonels to prison for committing 'crime of torture resulting in the death' of Alberto Bachelet Martinez during early days of Pinochet dictatorship
More

NYC Immigrant Advocates Praise Obama Move, Vow to Continue Fight

Threatened refusal by Republican congressional leaders to cooperate will backfire politically, attorney insists
More

Obama's Immigration Action: What It All Means

Attorney Camille Mackler is director of legal initiatives at advocacy group New York Immigration Coalition, and she discusses specifics of the action
More