Last Saturday, former President of Argentina Néstor Kirchner formally launched his campaign for a congressional seat, a move seen by many as a bid to rejuvenate the sagging popularity of the current president — his wife, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.
Kirchner, who was widely popular as president from 2003 to 2007, hopes to parlay the good will he built up when he led Argentina’s strong recovery from the 2001-02 economic meltdown to shore up his wife’s support and his legacy. “We either return to having thousands of unemployed and the destruction of our national industry, or we defend this model that began to change the history of our country”, said Kirchner to his supporters last night.
The conflict with farmers since a year ago and the effects of the global financial crisis have battered Fernandez’s standing. Her popularity has sunk to 30 percent down from 50 percent in the early days of her presidency.
Kirchner is confident that the Peronist coalition will maintain its majority when voters elect half the 256-member Chamber of Deputies and a third of the 72-member Senate on June 28.