- Argentina Main Page
- The Dirty War Begins
- Recession and Economic Instability
- Economy on the Rebound
- President and Vice President At Odds on Big Issues
- President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner Easily Wins Second Term
- Historic Rulings on Abortion, Transgender Rights
- Government Seizes Control of Nation's Largest Oil Company
- Jorge Rafael Videla Dies in Prison
- Argentina Defaults Again
- Death of Prosecutor Ignites Protests and Controversy
- Marci Wins Presidential Runoff
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner Easily Wins Second Term
On October 23, 2011, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was easily re-elected for a second term. Her victory came just two years after her approval rating fell below 30 percent due to her unpopular combative leadership style, which came under scrutiny during a dispute over agricultural export taxes. However, Argentina is currently undergoing an economic boom despite economists' predictions that the plan put into place by Fernández's late husband, former President Néstor Kirchner, was doomed.
That economic plan, which relies heavily on government subsidies, has been further orchestrated by President Fernández. Argentina's economy is expected to grow 8 percent in 2011, making it the fastest growing country in Latin America. Since 2007, the poverty rate has been cut by more than half. The employment rate has reached record highs and the country's agricultural products are in strong demand from China.
In this election, voters looked past red flags such as rising inflation. In 2010, inflation rose over 20 percent, second only to Venezuela in Latin America. Clearly what mattered most to voters was a booming economy. President Fernández won with 54 percent of the vote. Her closest opponent received 17 percent. With a margin of 37 percent, it was the widest victory since Argentina restored its democracy in 1983.
In December 2011, a spokesman for President Fernández announced that she had thyroid cancer and would undergo surgery on January 4. During a televised address the spokesman said there was "no existence of metastasis." The announcement came less than two months after Fernández was re-elected to a new four-year term. In 2010, Argentina was shocked when Fernández's husband, the country's previous president, died of a heart attack at age 60. The news of Fernández's diagnosis also shook up a country that has long revered Eva "Evita" Peron, wife of legendary leader Juan Peron. Peron died of cancer in 1952 at age 33. Like Eva Peron, Fernández is popular for her efforts to help the impoverished.
President Fernández was one of several leaders in the region recently diagnosed with cancer. President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil was treated for lymphoma in 2009. In 2010, Paraguay's president, Fernando Lugo, was treated for non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Venezuela's Hugo Chávez underwent treatment for an undisclosed type of cancer in 2011. In early January 2012, President Fernández's surgery was carried out without complications, putting her on course to return to work as planned later in the month.