Argentina: Progressive Fernandez Wins Presidency, Defeats Macri

As the candidates needed 45 percent of the vote to avoid a second round, the 47 percent obtained by the Fernandez-Fernandez ticket has been enough to give them the win.

With almost 90 percent of votes counted, Argentinian opposition progressive ticket Alberto Fernandez and Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner have won over right-wing incumbent President Mauricio Macri with 47,75 over 40,76 percent respectively in Sunday's general elections.

RELATED: Polls Close in Argentina Elections, First Results in Two Hours

As the candidates needed 45 percent of the vote or 40 percent with a 10-point lead over the runner-up to avoid a second round, the 47 percent obtained by the Fernandez-Fernandez ticket has been enough to give them the win.

"If the result were to stay as it is, that would mean Fernandez would be sworn in as president," Argentinian Political Analyst Atilio Boron told teleSUR. 

The ballot was effectively a referendum between Macri's austerity and the "social contract" of the left-leaning opposition, who have attracted voters who have been hurt badly by the Macri's neoliberal model that led to the most severe economic crisis in decades. 

Argentina's choice could have far-reaching implications: it is one the world's top grain exporters, is stirring the energy world with its huge Vaca Muerta shale field and is on the cusp of restructuring talks with creditors over US$100 billion in debt.

Fernandez, a relative unknown until this year outside Argentine political circles, holds a 20-point lead in most opinion polls after thumping Macri in an August primary.

The economy has taken center stage with the country in the grip of recession for most of the last year, the outlook for growth darkening, annual inflation over 50 percent, job numbers down and poverty up sharply.

The conservative incumbent won backers with plans to reform Argentina's notoriously closed economy with trade deals and a successful push to lure foreign investment into energy projects and infrastructure.

Voters also chose presidential candidates, along with deputies, senators, governors and local leaders. While, the Front of All candidate for governor of Buenos Aires' province, one of the most important of the country and key for general elections, also won with over 10 points over Macri’s candidate Maria Eugenia Vidal, as the latter conceded late on Sunday.

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Cristina, one way or the other

If a tsunami of electoral fraud does not prevent it, Mauricio Macri will receive the final stab to make him leave Argentina’s presidency next October 27, thus giving way to Alberto Fernandez, whose running mate for the office is Cristina Fernandez, a former head of state everlastingly slandered, persecuted by those who hate the Latin American left and that, repeatedly brings Eva Duarte de Peron back.

Cristina has said: “I’m not to blame for being born rich”, but in her task of two presidential tenures, within her possibilities, she tried to do the best for her people.

Involved in six trials of false charges brought by the “justice” of the current regime to hinder her nomination, she has already dismantled five of them, as the hatred campaign launched by Latin America’s mainstream press strengthens.

The former leader has responded to this state of affairs:

“Do you know what? We’ll leave hatred, grievance, calumny and slander for them; we’ll keep the Universal Child Allowance, retirement pensions, egalitarian marriage, expansion of rights, collective labor agreements, the best adjustable living minimum wage in history, the national industry, infrastructure investments, education, universities, scientists, schools, children”.

A system, which it’s not very well known why nobody calls it regime, is falling. Media, judges, intelligence services and friends of power mounted a sinister plot that made persecution a policy; slander a tool; lies an electoral ingredient; contempt for the people an ideology. This too, or mainly this, is what comes to an end.

What Macri was hiding has been exposed. The vices of his existential routine have come to light.

Everything indicates that next October 27 a horrible political, social and cultural experiment will come to an end. There was a “crack” these years, in this time of popular suffering.

There was such a crack because Kirchnerism, with all legitimacy, hinted at touching the nodal points of real power in Argentina. But it was not Macrism what defeated Kirchnerism that unlucky 2015, but certain inconsistency of Kirchnerism that allowed the victory of Macrism and its national deployment as a political option.

Meanwhile, the political strength of Cristina Kirchner is still the hard fact of Argentine politics. There’s hope, although hard times will come. If everything goes well, as I believe, there will a better future for the people of this South American nation.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / CubaSi Translation Staff

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Argentina: 'No Reason to Fear Fernandez', Weisbrot Says

Last week, the international capital markets responded negatively to an economic crisis which Mauricio Macri has been blamed for. 

The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) codirector Mark Weisbrot stated on Monday that there are no real reasons to fear the rise of Alberto Fernandez and Cristina Fernandez in Argentina.

RELATED:  Argentina's Energy Sector Rejects Macri Emergency Measures

"From an economist or social scientist’s perspective, it is not clear why Kirchnerism should inspire fear. Looking at the most important economic and social indicators, the governments of the Kirchner presidencies were among the most successful in the Western Hemisphere," he said.

The U.S. economist also recalled that the Argentinian economy grew substantially and poverty was significantly reduced during the time in which Nestor Kirchner and then Cristina Fernandez held office (2003-2015).

“Independent estimates show a decline of 71 percent in poverty and an 81 percent decline in extreme poverty... According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), gross domestic product per person grew by 42 percent... Unemployment fell by more than half, and income inequality also fell considerably. The 12 years the Kirchners held office resulted in large increases in living standards for a vast majority of Argentines."

After losing by more than 15 percentage points in the primary elections held on August 11, Argentina's President Mauricio Macri tried to blame former president Cristina Fernandez for the ongoing economic crisis, which was expressed by a further devaluation of the Argentinian currency last week.

This South American country's conservative media echoed his words in an attempt to halt the electoral advance of the opposition candidates, who are the favorites to win the election on October 27.

Nevertheless, Weisbrot, who is also the Just Foreign Policy president, explained that recent movements of the international financial markets are most probably related to the failure of the Macri administration.

"In the case of last week’s news, we have electoral losses by a government whose economic policies have clearly failed."

Similar opinions were held by Joseph Stiglitz, the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics, who attributed the current Argentine economic crisis to austerity policies implemented by the right-wing government.

"The problem was that the policies to which the Government committed were not conducive to economic growth," Stiglitz said and added that "austerity and tight budgets lead to low growth and that makes debt less sustainable."​​​​​​​

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Argentina's 'Mothers' Cheer Cristina's Decision to Run as VP

"Cristina understood that the best thing for Argentines is for her to participate," said Ex-Senator of Buenos Aires and Minister of Education, Daniel Filmus.

The news that Argentina’s first female president, Cristina  Fernandez de Kirchner (CFK) would be running as vice president, spread quickly through the region and was received with great enthusiasm, generating responses from some of the most influential activists in the country, the Mothers of the Plaza.

RELATED: Ex-Argentine Leader Cristina Fernandez Announces VP Candidacy

In an official statement, the president of the Mothers of the Plaza organization, Hebe de Bonafini, wrote:

“We Mothers are very happy because, although we know that the future president will have a hard time rebuilding the country, Cristina will be by his side and by our side, giving the strength that is needed to get out of this horror and fright left by the current repressive government.”

On Saturday, Fernandez announced her entrance into the race for vice president in the upcoming October elections via a 12-minute video.

She will be accompanying presidential candidate Alberto Fernandez, also from the Justice Party and aligned with the Victory Front.

CFK said she made the decision because the "situation of the people and the country is dramatic." The current legislator added that she is "convinced" that she and Fernandez will be the "best formula for Argentina at this moment to summon the broadest political and social sectors."

Ex-Senator of Buenos Aires and Minister of Education, Daniel Filmus, said, "Cristina understood that the best thing for Argentines is for her to participate. Alberto is a thoughtful leader, when he was chief of staff he always sought to open the border of our political space."

(Alberto) Fernandez served as chief cabinet of ministers of Argentina under late President Nestor Kirchner and for CFK during her first year in office. He later aligned himself with current President Mauricio Macri. In the video, CFK says she has had her "differences" with Fernandez who she has known for 20 years, saying she knows they are both capable of reaching the widest possible consensus within the government.

The announcement comes as a surprise and a disappointment for many who, for the past year, had hoped the ex-leader would announce a presidential re-run.

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'My Worst Fears Came True': Cristina Fernandez Shows How Police Stole, Damaged Items in Her Home

In a video released on Sunday, Senator Cristina Fernandez shows how investigators damaged and stole items from her Calafate home in an August raid.

Former President Cristina Fernandez released a video Sunday from her Calafate country house condemning last month’s raids made on her three homes in connection to the ‘Bribery Notebooks’ corruption case against Fernandez.

RELATED: Argentine Teacher Tortured, Her Flesh Carved With Threat

"This house three weeks ago was more than raided. (It was) literally taken by the people that (Judge) Bonadio sent here," the current Senator said in the video in front of her Calafate home.

In late August Judge Claudio Bonadio ordered search warrants for the three Fernandez homes, one of which is located in Calafate and another in Buenos Aires, to look for information in connection to alleged payments Fernandez received in exchange for political favors and public works contracts during her presidencies (2007-2015).

In her video, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (CFK) denounced the raids saying they were not carried out to "gather information" but were actually "another chapter of humiliation and persecution" against the Citizens Unity coalition leader.

The former president went through her home detailing how for three days officials drilled dozens of holes in the walls of the home, removed stones and took an original painting.

In the video, Fernandez said she tried to mandate protections of her belongings in the house, but those were denied by her fellow Senators who narrowly voted on Aug. 22 to allow the searches to take place.

“My worst fears came true. … What I thought would happen really happened," Senator Fernandez said referring to the items stolen from her house she says have nothing to do with the investigation against her. “They came to find, God knows what, millions of dollars, I do not know," stressed the former president.

"They broke everything, took personal items in the house that have nothing to do with the investigation. In Buenos Aires they did not let my lawyer in, people who were then intoxicated,” added the former head of state referring to the cleaning staff of her Buenos Aires home suffering from “dizziness, itchy throats, and eyes, and difficulty breathing” immediately after the home was raided nearly a month ago.

Fernandez added that the current situation in Argentina "is very disturbing.”

RELATED: Argentina: New Supreme Court President 'Too Close to Executive'

She said the government (under President Mauricio Macri) is “violating rights and constitutional guarantees," and denounced the torture against the Buenos Aires teacher who last week was hooded and tattooed with ‘no more pots’ written in Spanish on her stomach.

"What happened to the teacher in Moreno (Buenos Aires) is very serious because it is a kind of harassment, persecution, and intimidation of against policies that question what is happening in Argentina."

Last Wednesday three male attackers scratched out the words ‘no more pots’ (olla no) on the stomach of teacher Corina De Bonis with a sharp object as she was walking home from work. De Bonis was a part of a group of Buenos Aires teachers who were feeding kids hot meals as the Cambiemos-lead government initiative to drastically cuts education funds, subsidies in social spending trying to plug its deficit.  

The case against Fernandez emerged after Argentine newspaper La Nacion published photocopies of eight notebooks belonging to Oscar Centeno, the driver of Julio de Vido, federal Planning and Public Investment Minister between 2003 and 2015 during the Kitchener and Fernandez administrations.

According to the newspaper, the driver kept records of alleged bags of money business executives gave to the Kirchner administration. CFK has repeatedly denied the claims of corruption.

In the video, Fernandez condemned Macri’s "borrowing policy."

In June the administration took on a US$50 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan hoping it would stem the country’s down-spiraling economy as the peso devalued to 40 to the dollar and inflation rests at 35 percent, after hovering between 25 and 30 percent for a year.

Bloomberg analysts predict inflation to hit 40 percent by year’s end bringing Argentina into a full-blown recession.  The government "has gutted the state in the most sensitive areas and that must change," said Fernandez from Calafate.

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