Buenos Aires — Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández announced Friday that he will not run for reelection in this year’s general elections, and will “hand over the presidential sash to whoever has been elected”.
In a video of almost eight minutes in length, and which opens with images of the current president placing the presidential sash on former President Néstor Kirchner, of whom he was Chief of Staff between 2003 and 2007, Fernández states: “On December 10, 2023 ... I will hand over the sash to whoever has been legitimately elected at the ballot box by popular vote”.
“I will work fervently so that it will be a colleague from our political space, who represents those of us who continue and will continue to fight for a fair country, with equity and happiness for all,” he adds in the video address.
“We need to generate a new virtuous cycle in which others are empowered to win back the hearts of those who continue to look to us as the guarantee that the right wing will not return to bring us its nightmare and darkness.”Alberto Fernández, Argentina's president
“Today it has been almost four years since we began the path that led us to victory in the 2019 elections, ending a cycle of unrest for the Argentine people”, Fernández said in the video, in which he is also seen holding hands with his vice president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
Fernández also tweeted the video announcing his withdrawal from the electoral race:
The legacy of 2019
According to the Argentine president, his administration received in 2019 “a country in debt, in recession, in default, with high levels of poverty and inflation”.
He made reference to the loan of more than $45 billion taken on by former President Mauricio Macri’s administration, a 2.2% drop in GDP in 2019, the re-profiling of the debt in pesos that year, and poverty levels of 35.5% of the population and prices increase of 53.8% per year.
During 2022, the last full year of Alberto Fernández’s presidency, inflation was 94.8%, GDP growth was 5.2% and poverty 39.2%.
Internal conflicts within Peronism
Fernández also referred to the fierce internal conflict that afflicts the government of the Frente de Todos, a coalition composed mainly of three factions: Albertistas (Alberto Fernández), Cristinistas (Cristina Fernández de Kirchner) and Massistas (loyal to Economy Minister Sergio Massa).
“We need to generate a new virtuous cycle in which others are empowered to conquer again the hearts of those who continue to look at us as the the guarantee that the right wing will not return to bring us its nightmare and darkness,” he said
He said his party “is the best vehicle for society to select the best men and women of our front that will best represent us in the next general elections”.
“As president of the Justicialist Party, I will guarantee that all those who feel qualified to face this challenge can do it”, he said, and concluded: “We must democratize our space, let’s give the pen to each militant”.
The elections will be held on October 22.