After more than two years in the wilderness, former Cabinet chief Aníbal Fernández is making a political comeback.
On Wednesday, his namesake President Alberto Fernández signed a decree appointing him as the trustee of the Río Turbio coal-mine in Santa Cruz Province. Aníbal Fernández replaces the trustee appointed by the previous Mauricio Macri administration, Omar Zeidán, who clashed with local union leaders.
Frente de Todos parliamentary caucus leader Máximo Kirchner, who was raised in the Patagonian province, was among those at the meeting deciding the appointment, according to local reports.
Aníbal Fernández, a lawyer and accountant by trade, has been noticeably absent from front-line politics after becoming the first Peronist gubernatorial candidate in 32 years to lose the stronghold of Buenos Aires Province in 2015. His first attempt at a political comeback was thwarted last year when he lost the Pinamar Peronist mayoral primary.
Nonetheless, Santa Cruz provincial authorities hailed the presence of such a senior politician (Fernández was previously Interior and Justice minister, as well as twice serving as Cabinet chief, among other posts) as the new Río Turbio trustee.
At the beginning of the year, the former official – who defines himself on Twitter as an "unconditional" supporter of "Alberto and Cristina" – said he was open to the prospect of taking on a new position, saying that "if sometime the president needs for me, he will look for me and I will be there."
Fernández, who is known as a skilled orator, was known for clashing with rival politicians and is expected to return to front-line politics once again. In his new post, he will fall under the purview of Production Minister Matías Kulfas.
In a recent interview with Noticias, he refused to rule out the chances of returning to serve in a high-level Cabinet position.