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Argentina - 2019 Election

Argentina is a federal constitutional republic. Mauricio Macri won election to the presidency in 2015 in multiparty elections the media and various nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) described as generally free and fair. The country held midterm elections in October 2017 for one-third of the Senate and one-half of the Chamber of Deputies.

Argentina's next presidential and national elections are in October 2019, making Argentine president Mauricio Macri's commitment to austerity potentially very costly. Macri saw his approval rating fall below 40% in mid-2018 as his government embraced IMF austerity. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) pledged its "full support" for Argentina on 31 august 2018 as the country sought to overcome an ongoing economic crisis that has prompted a world-record interest rate hike and seen the value of the peso plunge to a record low against the dollar.

In May, a survey of more than 1,000 people by Argentine pollsters D'Alessio Irol/Berensztein revealed that 75 percent of respondents felt seeking assistance from the Washington, DC-based IMF was problematic. In May 2018, a survey of more than 1,000 people by Argentine pollsters D'Alessio Irol/Berensztein revealed that 75 percent of respondents felt seeking assistance from the Washington, DC-based IMF was problematic.

It would not take a hard-core Peronist to sell a narrative that Argentina’s new pro-business elites in government failed both the working and middle classes. The peso, high inflation and high-interest rates will be enough of an example unless the peso turns the corner.

The context of the talks with the IMF was summarized by Bloomberg on 02 September 2018: “Macri is in a pinch to please investors by cutting spending, while ensuring that the belt-tightening austerity doesn’t cause social upheaval ahead of next year’s election.”

The corruption case known as “Notebook-gate” had become the front line of the government’s political offensive against ex-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who was leading the polls ahead of the 2019 elections. Kirchner’s vice-president, Amado Boudou, was sentenced in August 2018 to six years in prison in a different corruption case, while the “Notebook-gate” scandal that began on 01 August 2018 had already involved 26 arrests, 17 plea bargains, 70 raids and 52 subpoenas. Kirchner herself appeared twice in court and has had her apartments searched.

This case is based on eight diaries written by a chauffeur of a former top official under Kirchner’s Ministry of Federal Planning, including details on numerous pick-ups and deliveries of bags with millions of dollars in alleged kickbacks, even to the residences of the Kirchners.

The enormous corruption network revealed pushed the Peronist factions led by Senator Miguel Angel Pichetto and former presidential candidate Sergio Massa further away from Kirchnerism. However, Fernández de Kirchner responded by approaching Hugo and Pablo Moyano, who lead the Truckers’ Union, as well as a large faction of the main trade-union central CGT, and the Multisector F21 movement (MF21). The Moyanos described these talks “as a first step after many years of distance from Cristina to explore the possibility of unifying Peronism to come back to power.”

Labor unions and social groups blocked streets in downtown Buenos Aires on 12 September 2018 to protest austerity measures proposed by the government and backed by the International Monetary Fund to reduce Argentina’s debt. Argentine leader Mauricio Macri claims he needs to carry out such measures to regain investors’ confidence by reducing the country’s spending.

Having signed a US$50 billion standby financing deal with the IMF in June 2018, the slide in the peso prompted Macri’s administration to pledge deeper spending cuts to secure an early release of funds. The cuts incited thousands to protest. University teachers were on strike for three weeks demanding higher wages until over half of the universities reached an agreement with the government.

Macri's popularity had fallen in recent months before elections in October, when he will seek a second term. Much of Argentina came to a standstill on 29 May 2019 as opponents of President Mauricio Macri launched a 24-hour strike to protest government austerity measures in response to inflation that has reached 55 percent over the past year. The cuts were initiated as part of a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $56 billion (€50 billion) package of emergency loans.

The main ticket opposing Argentine President Mauricio Macri in elections scheduled for October struck a formal alliance on 12 June 2019 with Sergio Massa, a key centrist political figure. The move helped presidential candidate Alberto Fernandez, a former cabinet chief, and vice presidential candidate Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, widen their appeal to centrist voters. A relative moderate, Massa took third in Argentina's last presidential contest in 2015. The move comes one day after center-right Macri chose a moderate Peronist candidate, Miguel Pichetto, as his running mate in a similar gesture toward centrist voters.

Alberto Fernandez

The unexpected presidential bid of Alberto Fernandez announced on 18 May 2019 appeared orchestrated by his political patron, former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who is running as vice president. Many had thought she would be the main challenger to incumbent President Mauricio Macri in the 27 October 2019 election. Putting Alberto Fernandez, a 60-year-old lawyer, at the top of the ticket is aimed at improving chances of victory for the Peronist party. Fernandez, a moderate Peronist seen in political circles as a consensus builder, will now need to unite a fractured opposition to take on center-right Macri, whose popularity in the polls has tumbled amid economic crisis in South America's No. 2 economy.

Alberto Fernandez served as Cabinet Chief in both Nestor and Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (CFK)'s administrations. Considering how distrusting the Kirchners are of outsiders, it is impressive that he acquired their confidence and trust in relatively short order and became perhaps the most powerful member of their cabinet. As Cabinet Chief, he had considerable power and influence. The authors of the 1994 constitutional reforms intended the position to be a check on presidential power as a watered-down prime minister, although in practice the Cabinet Chief has become a presidential chief of staff, spokesman, and all-purpose firefighter. The Cabinet Chief is technically responsible for the collection of national taxes; submitting the executive's budget request to Congress; co-signing executive decrees; appointing administration employees not designated by the President; and overseeing the Cabinet's ministers.

After serving as campaign manager of Nestor Kirchner's successful 2003 bid for the presidency, AF became Cabinet Chief on May 25, 2003. Cabinet Chief Alberto Fernandez was President Nestor Kirchner's [2003-2007] main advisor on Buenos Aires politics and on the workings of the national PJ party structure. Kirchner valued Alberto Fernandez's analysis of people, frequently seeking his advice on how to work with a given political figure. Kirchner used Fernandez as one of his key people to work behind the scenes to accomplish his national political goals. Fernandez was present at all important meetings. Fernandez was the one member of Kirchner's inner circle who really understood the workings of the PJ at a national level. He also had an intricate knowledge of the workings of the Argentine Congress, and understood how the Buenos Aires provincial and city party mechanics operated and could be influenced. As such, he was Kirchner's "real world" front-line political operator that can make things happen.

Alberto Fernandez lacked the personal history, connection to Patagonia, and ideological affinity with Kirchner that others in the inner circle had. He was associated with former President Carlos Menem in the past and came from a center-right political background. He was a conservative on economics and was the member of the inner circle most likely to encourage President Kirchner to maintain neo-liberal economic policies.

Fernandez became one of Nestor Kirchner's close advisors through his proven loyalty and tireless work over the early years of the 21st Centry. Some observers compared Alberto Fernandez to Leon Panetta, who entered the Clinton administration as a hired gun, but grew to become one of Clinton's most trusted advisors. Alberto Fernandez may not be trusted as much as other members of the inner circle, but Kirchner appreciated the fact the Fernandez lacked the presidential ambitions of other officials like Minister Lavagna. Nestor Kirchner frequently called on Fernandez to keep the other ministers in line. Some described Alberto Fernandez as being fairly low-key, content to operate in the background while the Kirchners and other advisors take more of the spotlight.

Fernandez later describing president Nestor Kirchner as blunder-prone and so convinced of his own brilliance that he was certain to keep making mistakes. Fernandez is low-key and content to operate in the background while others take the spotlight. The most that he seemed to aspire to is success in behind-the-scenes political kingmaking, which could restore him to his former status as the country's most influential political consigliore.

By the end of the Nestor Kirchner administration, his intense rivalry with Planning Minister Julio De Vido got the Argentine rumor mill into overdrive about who would outlast whom. Before Cristina Kirchner (CFK) announced her cabinet in November 2007, it was widely believed that CFK favored AF over De Vido and might therefore ease out De Vido, but she nonetheless asked them both to continue in place in her administration (as a concession to her husband and his preferences).

Alberto Fernandez, who served as CFK's and NK's first Cabinet Chief, was one of the few capable of moderating the temperamental First Couple. But even he was unable to walk the Kirchners back from their take-no-prisoners approach to an extended conflict with the farm sector, and he resigned in July 2008 out of frustration. After months of rumors of his impending departure, Argentine Cabinet Chief Alberto Fernandez stepped down 23 July 2008. His departure was quickly interpreted as a victory for the hawks in the administration and an indication that the Kirchners, in the wake of their July 17 defeat in the Senate, might not be pursuing a more consensual approach to policy. For Argentine political and business leaders, Alberto Fernandez was the go-to man for getting problems solved and was increasingly viewed as the most reasonable, moderate member of the Kirchner circle. In the seven months of the CFK administration, he served as the GOA's all-purpose fireman, consistently and visibly dealing with the crisis of the day.

Alberto Fernandez is not to be confused with former Justice Minister Anibal Fernandez (AF), whom Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's (CFK) promoted to Cabinet Chief in September 2009.

Alberto Fernandez was born in Buenos Aires in 1959. He received his law degree from the University of Buenos Aires in 1983. In 1985 he became Records Director for Juridical Affairs at the Ministry of the Economy and was later promoted to Deputy Director. In 1989 he was appointed as the Insurance Superintendent of the Nation. He served as the Vice President of Grupo BAPRO between 1996 and 2000, where he was responsible for the development of companies associated with the Bank of the Province of Buenos Aires. Fernandez was also an Assistant Professor of Penal Law at the University of Buenos Aires Law School. In June 2000 he became a legislator of the City of Buenos Aires for the PJ, serving in this capacity until accepting his current position in Kirchner's cabinet in May 2003. He was married, but separated from his wife [as of 2005], and had one son.

Alberto Fernandez, 60 years old, has a relationship with the journalist and actress Fabiola Yañez, 38; both take care of Dylan, Fernandez's dog, who is Instagramer. The profile has almost 6 thousand followers , with only five photos and one video published. The other member of the family is Alberto's son, Estanislao, who becomes Dhzy in his shows as Drag Queen.

The trend of pets in the Casa Rosada had, with the arrival of Mauricio Macri to power, a peak with Balcarce, the puppy who went viral in 2015 and has his own account in the social network of the bird, with more than 14 thousand followers Of course, his profile haf no publications since December 2016.

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