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

    Turkey, West in Standoff Over Syrian Refugees

    Turkish government refuses to admit refugees, the first in a wave of civilians fleeing offensive by Assad regime in northern Aleppo countryside

    Jailed American Testifies About Islamist Involvement in Mumbai Attacks

    David Headley testifies via video link that Pakistan-based Islamic terror group made two failed attempts to mount strikes in Mumbai in months prior to coordinated assault

    These Are the 10 Smartest US States

    A new report breaks down the nation's best and brightest

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.

    More Americas News

    USOC: US Athletes Should Stay Home if Worried About Zika Virus

    United States Olympic Committee tells US sports federations that athletes and staff concerned for their health over Zika virus should consider not going to Rio 2016 Olympic Games

    Haiti's President Leaves Office Without a Successor

    Embattled Haitian President Michel Martelly left office Sunday as required by Haiti's constitution, ending his 5-year term with no one elected to replace him

    'Revenant's Inarritu wins top Directors Guild Prize

    Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's win, with only weeks to go before Academy Awards on February 28, race is still as wide open as ever

    Colombia: 3,100 Known Zika Cases in Pregnant Women

    But Santos says in televised address in his country that there's still no evidence definitively linking the virus to microcephaly in newborns

    Pope to OK Use of Indigenous Languages for Mass in Mexico

    Move before trip to the country next week is symbolic gestures in defense of Indian rights

    Ecuador Sacks Military Top Brass Over Questioned Land Deal

    Armed Forces apparently sold 66 lots to Environment Ministry for $48 million, but report from Attorney General's office says they were worth only $7 million