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  • People wait for Argentina's former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner presentation of her book

    People wait for Argentina's former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner presentation of her book "Sinceramente", in Buenos Aires, Argentina May 9, 2019. Fernandez just announced her run as vice president in the October elections | Photo: Reuters

Published 18 May 2019

Argentine ex-President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, announced Saturday morning that she'll run for vice president with Alberto Fernandez, not as president.

During a 12-minute video released Saturday morning by former President of Argentina Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (CFK), the first female head of state of the country announced her entrance into the race for vice president in the upcoming October elections, on the same ticket as presidential candidate Alberto Fernandez, also from the Justice Party and aligned with the Victory Front.

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During the video released on her Facebook page, Fernandez de Kirchner stated: "I have asked Alberto Fernandez to head the team that we will create together: he as a candidate for president and me as vice presidential candidate to participate in the next primary elections."

CFK said she made the decision because the "situation of the people and the country is dramatic." The current legislator added that she is "convinced" that she and Fernandez will be the "best formula for Argentina at this moment to summon the broadest political and social sectors."

Alberto Fernandez served as chief cabinet of ministers of Argentina under late President Nestor Kirchner and for CFK during her first year in office. He later aligned himself with current President Mauricio Macri. In the video, CFK says she has had her "differences" with Fernandez who she has known for 20 years, saying she knows they are both capable of reaching the widest possible consensus within the government.

The announcement comes as a surprise and a disappointment for many who, for the past year, had hoped the ex-leader would announce a presidential re-run.

Fernandez de Kirchner leads in several polls for the top spot and was predicted to garner 44 percent of the votes in a potential run against Macri who is expected to win only 39 points in a second round, according to a May 15 poll publication by Opinion Argentina (OA).

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The favorite to win released a book "Sincerely" last week where, during a crowded book signing, supporters chanted for CFK to confirm her candidacy for president. The current congress member made no clear indication of a presidential run at the time.

CFK said the decision to run as vice president, rather than the anticipated presidential seat in the Oct. 27 polls, is because "the general interest of the people comes before any personal ambition."

She went on to say: "We are going to have to begin to govern an Argentina once again in ruins, with a people once again impoverished," referring to the country's current 54 percent inflation rate, its highest since 1991. Unemployment also reached a peak in 2018 as there have been over 73,000 jobs losses among the private and public sectors between December 2015, when Macri took office, and July 2018.

The value of the Argentine peso also shrank by 50 percent last year due to the administration's selling off of pesos and dollar reserves. The new CFK-Fernandez team will likely go up against Macri as incumbent at the ballots.

"It is clear that the coalition that governs must be much wider than the one that wins the elections," said Fernandez de Kirchner in her video.

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