Kirchner Faces Criticism, Disillusionment in Argentina

Kirchner Faces Criticism, Disillusionment in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- Among heads of state who gathered in London last week for the G-20 summit, few are attempting to leverage the global financial crisis for personal survival as much as Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

With her presidency in turmoil and support as low as 29 percent, Fernandez de Kirchner recently made a last-minute proposal -- rubber stamped by Argentina's Congress -- to move up this year's legislative elections by four months. She claimed that the global financial crisis justified shortening the electoral process to give Argentines fewer distractions. But the move was widely viewed here as a sign of political weakness and an admission by the president that she expects her support to continue to fall as the year progresses.

President Fernandez de Kirchner has also announced a series of improvised economic measures in recent months including nationalization of the country's pension system, citing them as necessary responses to global market volatility. She has frequently cited U.S President Barack Obama and his policies for further justification, even suggesting that he is emulating her government. But few analysts consider her comments to be credible.

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