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Left Argentine Leader Loses Mid-Term

From a dejected Reuters:

Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, holds up her ballot before casting it in Rio Gallegos, Argentina, Sunday, June 28, 2009.

Argentine leader suffers sharp blow in vote

Mon Jun 29, 2009

By Kevin Gray

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentine President Cristina Fernandez suffered a stinging blow in Sunday’s mid-term, losing her majority in the lower house as voters rejected her combative politics and handling of an economic slowdown.

In a humiliating defeat for Argentina’s first couple, her powerful husband and predecessor, former President Nestor Kirchner, was upset in a high-profile congressional race.

The result heightened political uncertainties in Latin America’s No. 3 economy, potentially setting off a power struggle in the ruling Peronist party.

Fernandez could replace several cabinet ministers in the wake of the defeat, a government source told reporters, asking not to be named.

A slate of candidates headed by billionaire businessman Francisco de Narvaez took just 2 percentage points more votes than the slate headed by Kirchner, in a closely watched race in the country’s most populous province, Buenos Aires.

"This is a stunning result," said Federico Thomsen, an Argentine political and economic analyst. "Kirchner put everything he had in this election, he put himself in the battlefront and it still wasn’t enough."

The mid-term election was widely seen as a referendum on the Kirchners, and the former president had hoped to shore flagging support for his wife by winning the province, a crucial electoral battleground and Peronist stronghold.

Kirchner conceded to De Narvaez, a 55-year-old center-right congressman. They are both from different wings of the Peronist party…

Fernandez’s approval ratings are mired at 30 percent as she struggles with high inflation, complaints about growing crime and a long-running battle with farmers over her export taxes.

In the lower house, opposition parties took more than a dozen seats, rolling back Fernandez’s previous majority when her allies had more than half of the chamber.

The president was also very close to losing her majority in the Senate, according to preliminary official results.

Kirchner may have to shelve plans he is widely believed to have to run again for president in 2011 since he cannot use a victory in Buenos Aires province as a springboard

Fernandez moved up the mid-term election by four months — they were scheduled for October — in a bid to get them out of the way before the economic crisis worsened.

Although official figures show the economy is still growing slowly, the data is widely questioned. Most private estimates forecast an economic contraction this year, with unemployment rising as car, steel and construction output slump.

Even moving up the elections didn’t help.

Will Mr. Obama and Hillary demand a re-count?

And speaking of the Mrs. Clinton, remember how our watchdog media hailed Ms. Fernandez as Argentina’s Hillary?

Maybe she is, after all.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, June 29th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Left Argentine Leader Loses Mid-Term”

  1. Right of the People says:

    Maybe there is some hope for Latin America. This and the events in Honduras must have the lefties’ panties in a bunch. Now, if only we could get some people here in the good ol’ US of A to remove their craniums from their rosy, red, rectums and see what’s going on, we might still have a chance at saving this republic.

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