Today was an important day for Argentina, as the nation held presidential elections. In a landslide victory, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was reelected to a second term. Multiple sources such as Clarin, La Nación, and the Buenos Aires Herald reported the victory soon after the polls closed today. With 53% of the vote, Kirchner easily out-muscled her opponents who failed to inspire any hope in the general population. Though I was recently given my DNI (national identity card) and citizenship, I was unable to vote in the embassy in Washington, DC because I didn’t register in March.
I see her re-election as a sign that the Argentine public, while not necessarily in love with her policies, did not see any other viable option as this time. Likewise, reports continue to come out indicating that the country has been improving and economic conditions have gradually been stabilizing, despite the fact that inflation remains to be a problem. (Inflation is actually denied by the government, despite assurances from the IMF and World Bank that it is a reality). My hope is that a second term will give Kirchner more time to see improvements in the country carried out, because a problem in Argentine government is often short-sightedness. Many politicians will work on public projects which can only be accomplished within their length of term, avoiding longer range goals which would give credit to a successor. For the next four years the presidency in Argentina will continue to work on “Peronist” platforms and social reforms.