Argentina. The ruling Peronist Party (Partido
Justicialista) suffered a stinging defeat in the June 27
congressional elections. Although the government and its
coalition partners still remained the largest group in
Congress, they received only 30 percent of the vote, and the
opposition, which won in the country's five most important
provinces, gained a strong position.
countryaah, Néstor Kirchner, former president and current president
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's husband, took the
consequences of the election defeat and resigned as leader
of the Peronist Party. The elections to the provincial
parishes in Corrientes, Santa Fé and Salta at the end of
September also ended with great defeat for the ruling party.
In general, the outcome of the elections was interpreted as
Néstor Kirchner's chances of being able to stand in the 2011
presidential election become extremely small.
Part of the explanation for the poor election result is
the government's handling of agricultural policy in recent
years, but also the extremely low turnout, 28 percent, which
was partly due to the election occurring during the worst
phase of the new influenza H1N1, also called swine flu, in
Argentina. As a result of the defeat, President Fernández de
Kirchner carried out a major transformation of government;
among other things, the finance minister was replaced.
The worst drought in 50 years forced President Fernández
de Kirchner in January to announce disaster states in the
worst-affected provinces. Affected farmers were given tax
exemption for one year.