Source: El popular

The Argentinian presidential elections are just around the corner, on November 22th, and tension is running high. The electoral system that currently works in Argentina is called the Ballotage System, in which a candidate can win with just 45% of the total votes, or with a 40% but with 10 percentage points ahead of the second place candidate.

It is not a surprise since on the first round on October 25th, none of the candidates were able to achieve 45% of the votes. As a result, the main candidates, Cristina Kirchner’s protégé, Daniel Scioli of Frente para la Victoria, and Mauricio Macri of Frente Cambiemos must face a new runoff election to be held on that date.

Argentina has suffered an important transformation in economic terms. The economic situation nowadays is declared unsustainable by the IMF due to the high inflation and the deep recession the country is suffering. In 2007, according to private sources, the Argentine inflation was one of the highest of the world. According to La Nación,  Kirchner’s government leaves an annual inflation of 14,3%. Furthermore, the annual basic upkeep of a vehicle rose 371% from 2004 to 2014.

However, the Government was not able to recognize the economic reality. They preferred to expose all kind of arguments justifying the low fluctuation of prices while the international community was aware of the drama that the country was living. According to The Kirchner Government, the inflation is due to the speculation of a large number of traders that increase product prices for no reason.  However, the IMF states that this information is false and that the government manipulates statistics.

The Kirchners and many people close to them face numerous accusations involving corruption.The best well-known case is the Hotesur case, for which Fernandez and several relatives are accused. They are suspected of maneuvering laundering of illegal foreign exchange and of returning favors in return of adjudicating public works to an ally, Lazaro Baez.

Moreover, Vice president, was charged in July 2014 of bribery and of taking part in illegal negotiations. Boudou is also on trial for alleged forgery and is accused in two court more causes.

The Minister of Planning and Public Investment, Julio de Vido, is also being investigated along with his wife for alleged illicit enrichment. Meanwhile, Former Secretary of Transport, Ricardo Jaime (2003-2009), already received a sentence of one and a half years for receiving gifts. His successor, Juan Pablo Schiavi (2009-2012), is also tried for the death of 51 people in the train crash in 2012.

As a result of Kirschner’s government, Argentina’s foreign policy changed completely. Kirschner’s government was against the USA. Kirschner claimed that the US was plotting against her, and she opposed the creation of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA),promoted by the United States, and instead promoted Latin American integration, defending the Southern Common Market (Mercosur).

Furthermore, the Kirchner government has tried to strengthen its ties with some European countries (including Germany and France) by starting various bilateral projects. For example, there was a project of a “bullet train“, a high-speed train, between the cities of Buenos Aires and Rosario. The estimated project cost exceeded US $ 5 billion and the realization of the project depended on the granting of guarantees by the Argentine government, however these guarantees never happened, and as a result the project was a total failure. Moreover, public opinion was critic of the project since its cost was very high and it wasn’t a priority.

Kirchner also turned against Spain, a long-lasting ally and friend due to historical and cultural links. The conflict started, when in 2012 Kirchner decided to expropriate YPF, a subsidiary of the Spanish Repsol. Moreover, the European Commission suspended the meeting of the EU-Argentina joint committee in response to the expropriation of 51% of YPF, which was considered as being “illegal” since it did not include an adequate compensation.  As a result, the Spanish government announced measures to limit imports of biodiesel from Argentina in response to the expropriation and the European Commission backed Spain up and urged Kirchner to respect their commitments with foreign investment in its territory.Finally, the conflict was resolved, but relations between both countries have not been the same since, making Argentina lose a very important investor and ally.

Thus, a political change is necessary in Argentina, with a government that knows how the economy works and that does not manipulate the press or statistics, is transparent and fights against corruption and maintains good relations with important countries.


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