Thursday, April 15, 2021

ARGENTINA | 10-05-2019 08:15

CFK skirts candidacy speculation during official launch of memoirs

Former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner presents her memoirs at the Buenos Aires International Book Fair. Part of the book is dedicated defending herself against accusations of corruption and attacking President Mauricio Macri.

Former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner presented her best-selling book Sinceramente ("Sincerely") at the Buenos Aires Book Fair amid expectations she will run in October's elections.

Chanting and flag-waving supporters waited for hours in the rain for Fernández de Kirchner, who said she was motivated to write by her former cabinet chief Alberto Fernández, who said he was "very distressed" at what was being said about her and her late husband Nestor Kirchner, who also served as president and to whom the 600-page work was dedicated.

"He told me: 'It gives me a lot of anguish that those things are said about you, and you have to go out and tell your side'," Fernández de Kirchner said Thursday night before an audience of 1,000 guests that included Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel, head of the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo Estela de Barnes Carlotto, and a number of key political and union leaders, actors and other human rights activists.

With 300,000 copies sold in 20 days, according to Penguin Random House, a record for the local market, the work is a mixture of family and political memories, loaded with harsh criticism of President Mauricio Macri and his government.

Fernández de Kirchner also dedicates an important part to defending herself against accusations of corruption.

'Very difficult times'

She did not mention the elections Thursday but said these were "very difficult times" for the country.

Argentina is in the middle of an economic crisis, with annual inflation running at 54.7 percent in March while GDP contracted 2.5 percent in 2018.

Although she has not yet said whether she will run for the presidency, Fernández de Kirchner's popularity has grown in recent weeks, with some polls indicating she could beat Macri in the second round.

However her participation in the elections is far from certain given that she is the subject of more than 10 corruption investigations related to her time in office.

She will go on trial in the first of those cases on May 21, accused of diverting public funds.


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