Former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner hinted yesterday that she won’t run in this year’s mid term elections. “I exclude myself,” she said in a conference she gave at the headquarters of Sadop, the union grouping private school teachers.
“I’m going to be absolutely sincere: I’ve been president twice, I’ve had one of the biggest honors, which is to be voted for and then when voted for again, get 10 more points than the first time.” When asked to go back to politics, she said: “For me, what’s important is for you to go back: young people, the workers, the business leaders, the shop owners, those who believe in the country. Students, scientists.”
The decision would be a tough blow for the Kirchnerite party’s aspirations in October’s mid terms, should she end up standing by her statement. Former Buenos Aires Province Governor Daniel Scioli or former Interior and Transportation Minister Florencio Randazzo will have to fill her shoes as the visible face of the party she led — and many consider she still leads — in this year’s elections in the Buenos Aires Province, arguably the big price in every legislative election.
This would likely prove to be a significantly difficult task, consider that Fernández is a political leader who has a weight of her own, beyond the party she represents. In fact, most polls measuring vote intention in the Buenos Aires province show a difference of approximately 10 points between a ticket including the former president and one that doesn’t. However, the Justicialist-Victory Front is set to have a good election anyway — although not as good as if she runs — as the scenario without the former president still places the party’s ticket above any opposition the Cambiemos coalition might present.
In another passage of her speech, Fernández announced that she decided to cut her trip to Europe short: she will go to Greece and Belgium but won’t visit England, where she was scheduled to meet Wikileaks founder Julián Assange — living in the Ecuatorian embassy in London since 2012 — and speak at the student-run debating society The Oxford Union.
She also criticized Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling that applied the so-called “two for one” procedural benefit in a case investigating crimes against humanity. The benefit indicates that the time inmates spend in preemptive detention without a firm ruling will be calculated at a factor of two as part of their total conviction time, starting at the beginning of the second year of their imprisonment.
“A lot of people who voted for this government don’t agree with the Court’s ruling,” she said, and assured that the Macri administration was behind the decision: “It’s not possible that something that was won before, suddenly becomes the exact opposite thing when the government changes.”
“If they can easily change a doctrine that is based on international treaties and the constitution, and in a case regarding genocide, if they can change that and the people allow it, what do you think they will do to other rights? She concluded.