Europa World: The Europa World Year Book online Routledge -- Taylor & Francis group
Economic crisis The Government of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner


Argentina: Kirchnerismo

At a presidential election on 27 April 2003 Menem, one of three Peronist candidates, obtained the largest share of the popular vote, with 24%, followed by Néstor Carlos Kirchner (representing the Frente para la Victoria—FPV—faction of the PJ), with 22%. Faced with the very likely possibility of a decisive protest vote against him, Menem withdrew his candidacy from a planned run-off ballot and Kirchner was thus elected by default.

Upon taking office, the new President sought to strengthen his relatively weak popular mandate. Having pledged to put the needs of the Argentine people before the demands of the IMF, Kirchner immediately announced a series of popular measures, including the replacement of several high-ranking military and police commanders, the opening of an investigation into allegedly corrupt practices by several Supreme Court Justices (which prompted the resignation of the President of the Supreme Court in June 2003) and increases in pensions and minimum wages. He also announced a programme of investment in infrastructure, particularly housing, intended to lower the unemployment rate.

Kirchner’s increasing popularity translated into significant gains for the PJ in the legislative elections of late 2003, which resulted in a working majority for the PJ and its allies in both legislative chambers. Moreover, the corruption inquiry within the Supreme Court resulted in the removal of four judges considered to be hostile to the President. Nevertheless, frequent demonstrations against high levels of crime and unemployment continued. Loosely organized groups of protesters, known as piqueteros , became increasingly radical, erecting roadblocks and occupying both private and public institutions to demand jobs, redistribution of money and an end to a perceived culture of impunity.

At mid-term congressional elections in October 2005, President Kirchner’s FPV secured a resounding victory over the faction led by former President Duhalde, Peronismo Federal. Following the ballot, the FPV controlled 118 of the 257 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, while the PJ bloc as a whole held 33 of the 72 senatorial seats.

Citation: Kirchnerismo (Argentina), in Europa World online. London, Routledge. Retrieved 23 October 2018 from

Economic crisis The Government of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

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