Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Cristina Fernández (born February 19, 1953, in La Plata, Argentina) is an Argentine lawyer and politician who served as Argentina’s first female President from 2007 to 2015. She took over from her husband, Néstor Kirchner, who was President from 2003 until 2007. Fernández was a law student at the National University of La Plata when she met Kirchner.
She and Kirchner married in 1975. The couple fled La Plata for Néstor’s hometown of Rio Gallegos in the Patagonian province of Santa Cruz a year later, after the military dictatorship gained power in Argentina. They established a law firm there and got involved in electoral politics after the return of democracy in 1983.
After serving as a member of the Justicialist (Peronist) Party (PJ) congress, Fernández de Kirchner was elected to the provincial legislature in 1985. In 1987, her husband was elected mayor of Rio Gallegos, and in 1991, she became Santa Cruz’s first lady when her husband was elected to the first of three four-year terms as provincial governor.
In the Argentine Senate, Fernández de Kirchner represented Santa Cruz twice (1995–97 and 2001–05). She previously served in the Chamber of Deputies from 1997 to 2001. She was a vigorous adversary of President Carlos Menem’s Peronist administration throughout her time in Congress, repeatedly voting against his legislative measures. On May 25, 2003, her husband was elected President after Menem withdrew from the presidential election, fearful of losing in a second-round runoff against Kirchner.
After Ricardo del Val’s impeachment in 1990, she served as acting governor of Santa Cruz for a few days. When Néstor was elected governor of Santa Cruz in 1991, she handled his political campaign. She was elected to the Constituent Assembly in 1994, which revised Argentina’s Constitution.
During both Fernández de Kirchner’s and her husband’s presidency, Fernández served as cabinet chief. After leaving her cabinet, Fernández became a fierce opponent of Fernández de Kirchner. The two had put their differences aside and worked together to defeat Macri in the October election.
She became First Lady after Néstor Kirchner was elected President in 2003. She chose a lesser profile in Congress because of these conditions. Eduardo Duhalde, the previous President, had a political feud with her
husband. During the 2005 midterm elections, their feud intensified. The PJ couldn’t agree on a single candidate for senator of the province of Buenos Aires. Both leaders’ wives ran for the position: Hilda González de Duhalde for the PJ and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner for the Front for Victory. The election was won by Kirchner.
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