Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • In pictures: Debris and devastation at Air Algérie Flight AH5017 crash scene

    Read more

  • Kerry due in Paris for new round of Gaza ceasefire talks

    Read more

  • Video: No investigation apparent at MH17 crash site

    Read more

  • Washington Post reporter and his wife arrested in Iran

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • Fans electrify the mood as Tour de France crosses the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Americas

Nestor Kirchner to run for Congress

Latest update : 2009-05-10

After weeks of speculation, ex-Argentine President Nestor Kirchner looks set to run for a seat in Congress. The move is seen as a bid to bolster the ruling party and his wife, President Cristina Fernandez, whose poll ratings have plummeted.

REUTERS - Former Argentine President Nestor Kirchner will run for a seat in Congress in a bid to bolster the left-leaning ruling party in June 28 mid-term elections, a leading government official said on Saturday.

 

Kirchner heads the Peronist party but is widely seen as unofficially running the government alongside his wife, President Cristina Fernandez, whose popularity has sunk due to economic woes and a prolonged tax war with farmers.

 

Kirchner will head a list of congressional candidates from his party in the major electoral battleground of Buenos Aires province, the region's governor, Daniel Scioli, said.

 

Fernandez supporters hope his candidacy will strengthen the pro-government list of candidates running under Argentina's proportional representation system and help the Argentine leader keep her congressional majority.

 

A weak showing, analysts say, will leave his wife's center-left government and the couple's political clout significantly weakened.

 

Political uncertainty has heightened in Argentina ahead of the vote because of concerns that Fernandez will be unable to govern effectively if her allies fare poorly.

 

Half of the 256-seat lower house and one third of 72 senators will be elected next month, and some opinion polls show Fernandez likely to lose her majority in the legislature.

 

In recent public appearances, Kirchner warned voters that if they did not support the ruling party Argentina could return to the political and economic chaos of 2001-2002, when bank deposits were frozen and the currency was devalued.

 

DISSIDENT PERONISTS

 

The opposition has accused Fernandez of moving ahead the election, originally scheduled for October, so that it would occur before an economic slowdown linked to the global recession eroded support for her government.

 

Kirchner enjoyed high approval ratings during his 2003-2007 term in office, when he oversaw an economic rebound. There is speculation that he will seek the presidency again when his wife's term ends in 2011.

 

Fernandez has battled high inflation, a tax revolt by farmers, a looming debt financing crunch and complaints of high crime.

 

Argentine political analyst Rosendo Fraga said the political showdown with farmers was expected to cost the government significant numbers of votes in key areas of the interior of the country.

 

"It's clear the government will be left politically weaker to face a situation made more difficult by the global economic crisis," he said.

 

Just weeks ago, Kirchner and his allies were leading the race in Buenos Aires province, where 35 seats in the lower house are up for grabs. Recent polls show a victory will be slim or elusive as candidates from a dissident faction of the Peronist party have gained ground.

 

If the Kirchner-led ticket is not the top vote-getter in the key province, it will be read as a devastating loss because it is one of the few areas of the country where he and his wife are still fairly popular.

 

Since taking office in December 2007, Fernandez has increased state intervention in the economy and financial markets, taking over the private pension fund system and the main airline, and has been accused of distorting key economic data.

 

She failed to implement the cornerstone of her economic policy, a higher tax on exports of Argentina's biggest crop, soy, which she said she would use to distribute wealth from a recent commodities boom.
 

Date created : 2009-05-10

COMMENT(S)