Cristina Fernandez’s Gambit Shocks Argentina, Adding Even More Election Drama

Cristina Fernandez’s Gambit Shocks Argentina, Adding Even More Election Drama
Former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner inside a federal courtroom, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, May 21, 2019 (AP photo by Marcos Brindicci).

Three days before she was scheduled to go on trial for corruption, and nevertheless still leading in the polls to become the next president of Argentina, former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner dropped a bombshell last Saturday. As everyone expected, she was throwing her hat in the ring, but to just about everyone’s surprise, she announced she had decided to run for vice president, not president. Was it madness, desperation—or brilliance? Turns out, there’s method behind Fernandez’s seemingly strange move.

The announcement on May 18 came in a tweet to her more than 5 million followers that included a 12-minute-long campaign video in which she revealed that she had asked Alberto Fernandez—no relation—to run at the head of the ticket, with her as the No. 2. Argentines collectively gasped.

Alberto Fernandez served as chief of staff to Cristina Fernandez’s late husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, between 2003 and 2007. Later, when she succeeded Kirchner as president, Alberto Fernandez kept the position for a brief time.

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