Argentina: Kirchner targets Peronist camp, IMF for goal

Argentina’s Vice President Cristina Kirchner (centre-left) united the Peronist camp during a meeting on Thursday in what looked like the start of a campaign five months before general elections, one major topic: the Monetary Fund’s international program (IMF) Amendment.

“If we fail to set aside the program imposed on all our debtors by the IMF to develop our own program of development, industrialization and technological innovation, it will be impossible to pay (the debt to the IMF) no matter what.” Yes,” Kirchner said.

The $44 billion loan given to Argentina by the IMF in 2018 – under the previous government of the liberal Mauricio Macri – and which Argentina faced all the difficulties in the world to repay “was a political loan, and the solution must be political, Ms. Kirchner said.

Reparations should be linked to a levy on exports, she suggested, “but let them (IMF) stop trying to dictate policy and stall the country’s industrialisation”.

Several thousand people filled the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires braving the rain in one of the biggest political rallies since the start of the year. It marked both the anniversary of the “May Revolution” of 1810, the first date of Argentina’s liberation, and the accession to the presidency of Nestor Kirchner (who died in 2010) 20 years earlier, who was succeeded by Cristina, his wife. 2007 to 2015.

Several thousand supporters of Argentina’s Vice President Cristina Kirchner (centre-left) gather in Buenos Aires, Argentina on May 25, 2023 (AFP – Luis Robayo)

Ms Kirchner, 70, reaffirmed in early May that she would not be a presidential candidate in October, despite calls from her supporters, for fear of seeing herself “invalidated” by a justice she believes is They have been politicised. She was sentenced at the end of 2022 for fraud and corruption – which she denies – during her mandate.

Not a candidate, she remains a very prominent figure in left-wing politics, and is the leader of the Peronist current (successor to Juan Domingo Perón from 1946 to 1955, then president in 1973–74). And no presidential-vice-presidential ticket should be made without their support.

But on Thursday he did not mention any potential candidate who in his view could be a symbol of the Peronist camp, or the Frente de Todos government coalition. The head of state, Alberto Fernandez, unpopular especially against the backdrop of inflation of more than 100% in the year, has also declined to run again.

However, Ms Kirchner’s relatives and potential candidates appeared on the scene with her, such as Economy Minister Sergio Massa, Interior Minister Eduardo de Pedro, or Axel Ksiloff, the governor of Buenos Aires province.

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