Three days after announcing her re-election bid, Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (CFK) revealed the selection of Amado Boudou, the current economy minister, as her running mate in the October 23 election. Boudou, 47, is one of the cabinet’s most charismatic members and observers believe that his age will help court young voters.
Boudou is also popular among the electorate for his accomplishments in public office. Prior to his current post, he was in charge of Argentina’s pension funds. During this period—the nadir of the global recession—Boudou was instrumental in advocating for the nationalization of privatized pension funds. He remains adamant that Argentina’s inflation rate, hovering near 25 percent, is not an issue—instead pointing to the economy’s growth rate of 9.1 percent during the first four months of 2011.
The selection of Boudou was welcomed by kirchneristas as he belongs to CFK’s Peronist Frente para la Victoria (Front for Victory—FPV)—unlike incumbent Vice President Julio Cobos, who belongs to the opposition Unión Cívica Radical (Radical Civic Union—UCR). CFK and Cobos have frequently clashed and barely speak to each other.
In a poll taken last week, CFK led the field of candidates with 47 percent support. If a candidate receives at least 45 percent of the vote in October, s/he wins the presidency and a runoff is avoided.
El 2010 comenzó de manera muy agitada en el Congreso de la Nación de Argentina. Luego de varias semanas de reuniones informales, acusaciones y dichos, la Comisión Bicameral se expidió, por dos votos contra uno, a favor de la remoción de Martín Redrado de la presidencia del Banco Central de la República Argentina.
Esta Comisión Bicameral es la estipulada por la Carta Orgánica del Banco Central (Ley 20.539, posteriormente sustituida por la 24.144 del 23 de septiembre de 1992), que regula y especifica la naturaleza, funcionamiento y alcances de esa entidad autárquica del Estado Nacional. Según la ley debe conformarse por los presidentes de las comisiones de Presupuesto y Hacienda y de Finanzas de ambas cámaras. El quinto miembro es el Vicepresidente de la Nación (y Presidente del Senado).
La comisión, supuestamente conformada por cinco miembros, se constituyó con tres ya que los miembros del Senado aún no habían sido nombrados. En el caso de Diputados, las autoridades ya habían electas, pero el proceso de acuerdo alcanzado entre oficialismo y oposición en diciembre de 2009, no se había formalizado. Diputados lo formalizó a fines de enero, nombrando a Alfonso Prat Gay (CC- CABA) como presidente de la Comisión de Finanzas y Gustavo Marconato (FPV- PJ- Santa Fe) a cargo de Presupuesto y Hacienda.
Skeptical of leaving the country for 10 days, Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner postponed her Asian trip on Tuesday, calling it “too long especially when the country’s Vice President does not fulfill the role that has been assigned to him.” She went on to say that Vice President Julio Cobos cannot serve his role and be a “dissident.”
Cobos and Fernández de Kirchner have been at odds most recently over her desire to force Central Bank President Martin Redrado to step down. But the vice president urged her to "reconsider the situation" and go to China, promising that he would not sign any decrees in her absence without consent.
The January 25-28 trip would have been the first state visit to China since taking office in 2007. Her agenda was scheduled to have included meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao. Numerous cooperation agreements were to have been signed.
Bilateral relations grew tense last month after an Argentine judge had requested that Interpol issue an arrest warrant for former Chinese President Jiang Zemin over treatment of Falun Gong practitioners. With concerns mounting about Argentina’s debt, neither side would discuss whether China was prepared to provide any aid or grant loans.
June 1: This AQ-Efecto Naím segment looks at sustainable cities in the hemisphere.