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South America’s No. 2 economy holds pivotal presidential election

October 23, 2011 - ARGENTINA

The death in October of Nestor Kirchner, the former president of Argentina and husband of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, brought an early spotlight on the Oct 2011 presidential poll. It was anticipated that the late president would stand in the election. His wife is standing, and is widely expected to win a second term after she received nearly 51 per cent of the vote in a recent national primary election. She is Argentina's first elected female president, and the second female president in Argentina's history -- Isabel Martinez de Peron served from 1974-1976. A Justicialist, she notes that her government is doing more than any other in Latin America to improve the buying power of her citizens. Inflation is reported to be creeping up and eroding the country's otherwise sizzling economic performance.

The death in October of Nestor Kirchner, the former president of Argentina and husband of PresidentCristina Fernandez de Kirchner, brought an early spotlight on the Oct 2011 presidential poll. It was anticipated that the late president would stand in the election. His wife is standing, and is widely expected to win a second term after she received nearly 51 per cent of the vote in a recent national primary election. She is Argentina's first elected female president, and the second female president in Argentina's history -- Isabel Martinez de Peron served from 1974-1976). A Justicialist, she notes that her government is doing more than any other in Latin America to improve the buying power of her citizens. Inflation is reported to be creeping up and eroding the country's otherwise sizzling economic performance. ; The late Kirchner served from 2003 to 2007 and was credited with helping the country recover from the financial crisis of 2001. There was widespread speculation that the Kirchners had agreed to stand aside for each other to circumvent Argentina's two-term presidential limit and that Kirchner, rather than his wife, would run again in October for a third 4-year term. To avoid a runoff, a candidate must win 40 per cent of valid votes and at least 10 points more than the next-placed candidate.

Back to a vacuum (Economist 27 Oct 2010)

Factbox: Key political risks to watch in Argentina (27 Oct 2010)

Date written/update: 2011-10-23