At the end of last month Argentinians elected a new set of leaders, Alberto Fernandez will take office as president in December and former president (2007-15) Christina Fernandez de Kirchner will be his vice president. The election comes in the midst of a new wave of economic crises – Argentina’s inflation rate surpassed 50% this year just as the country has been forced to default on debt obligations to the International Monetary Fund. Surging hunger, unemployment, and despair overshadowed this election as voters displaced the neo-liberal government of Mauricio Marci. It is worth noting the fact that though Kirchner’s previous administration was fraught with controversy, with charges of bribery, money laundering and corruption during her time in office, there seems to be a ground swell of popular support for the incoming government. This election comes during a time of widespread popular protests across the political landscape of South America.
The Guardian details the reinstatement of left-leaning Kirchner along with Fernandez which represents a rejection of the previous “pro-business” regime of Marci. During his tenure as president the number of people living below the poverty line rose from 29% to 35%. This election will be seen as a validation of the social democratic economic values over that of the pro-business ideas of the previous administration and surely indicates a move away from austerity, something anathema for the left.
Jose Nino wrote a piece entitled Argentina Votes for More Inflation, Spending, and Economic Instability where he questions what the ultimate outcome of this election will be for the country. Pointing out the profound problems with Marci’s term in office Nino also details what is at stake as the new government promises to continue to spend money it does not have as it deals with a legacy of socialism. For him the country is facing an impending wave of currency devaluation — a dark specter of inflation looms over the Paris of South America.