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Alberto Fernandez and his running mate, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2019. Presidential candidate Alberto Fernandez, left, and his running mate, former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, greet supporters during their kick-off campaign rally, Buenos Aires, Argentina, May 25, 2019 (AP photo by Gustavo Garello).

Will Cristina Fernandez’s Surprise Political Ploy Work in Argentina?

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

It sounds like the most improbable political script. Everyone is waiting for the candidate, a hardened political veteran backed by an army of loyal supporters, to declare her run for president. Opinion polls already place her ahead in the race. But then, unexpectedly and on an otherwise quiet Saturday morning, she announces it is actually the vice presidency, not the presidency, that she will seek. She announces a hand-picked nominee for president, someone who has been out of the limelight for nearly a decade. He quickly accepts. Her supporters seem a little startled but unfazed.

Then, on the following Tuesday, she appears in court as a defendant in the first of a long line of corruption trials that are expected to run parallel to the campaign. They do not seem to worry her much. Even if found guilty, she is unlikely to go to prison. After all, as a serving senator, and possibly a future vice president, she enjoys immunity. ...

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