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Argentina re-elects President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

October 23, 2011

Argentina re-elected Cristina Fernández de Kirchner on Sunday, as the Kirchner name maintained its hold on the presidency.

Fernández , a member of the Justicialist Party, won 54 percent of the vote, according to results reported by the Argentine daily La Nación. Hermes Binner, a provincial governor and member of the Socialist Party, followed with 16.9 percent.

Victor Luccas, a native of Cordoba, Argentina and owner of Rincón de Buenos Aires in downtown San José, has lived in Costa Rica for 15 years but says he still keeps an eye on politics in Argentina.

“There have been some really good things and really bad things said about her,” Luccas said. “But apparently she has everything going for her. She has the congress and a lot of the people on her side so she has the support she needs to do what she wants to do.”

Fernández won support as the country reported economic growth although her administration faced accusations of sharing lowered inflation numbers with the public. She appealed to young voters in July 2010 after legalizing same sex marriage in Argentina, the first country in Latin America to do so.

Fernández, who is also the country’s first female president, entered office in December 2007 following the presidency of her husband Nestor Kirchner who was in office from 2003 to 2007. Many credit Nestor with playing an important role in salvaging the Argentine economy after the peso collapsed in 2001. Nestor was largely expected to run again in 2011 but died of a heart attack in October 2010. His death and Fernández’s subsequent grief raised questions over whether she would seek a second term. She continues to wear black in public and didn’t announce her intent to run until June 2011.

Luccas said he thinks Argentina may benefit from these consecutive terms.

“‘Crisis’ is a word you’ll hear a lot in Argentina. We’re either leaving one crisis or entering another,” Luccas said. “This has been a difficult era for Argentina so I at least think the continuity will help create some balance.”

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