Eight months before candidates must be officially unveiled, Kirchnerite leaders and grassroots activists are pushing the claims of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner as a presidential hopeful as the clamour for her candidacy grows.
Reacting to the vice-president’s much anticipated speech last Friday (November 4) in Pilar, politicians seen as close to the vice-president spent the weekend ramping up calls for her to run. For them, Fernández de Kirchner – the divisive leader, who led Argentina as head of state between 2007 and 2015 – is the only one who can lead the country forward.
The former president has not revealed her plans for 2023, though most analysts expect her to at least run for the Senate representing Buenos Aires Province. At last Friday’s speech, however, Fernández de Kirchner dropped what believe was a heavy hint, declaring that she would do “whatever [she has] to do so that our people can organise themselves into a project.”
Speaking on Monday to El Destape Radio, her former vice-president Amado Boudou said that her appearance “gives more air to the government” and that her reading of the political outlook is “very accurate.”
“Cristina is the figure that condenses credibility forwards," declared Boudou, who was convicted in 2018 of charges of money-laundering and racketeering and is on parole.
Speaking to FM La Patriada, Frente de Todos Senator Teresa García was even clearer in her support.
"I personally want Cristina to be president," said the Buenos Aires Province senator. "Cristina's appearance with some definitions was long overdue," she reflected. "She is the person in the political space who has the most support – she is not going to look the other way.”
Daniel Gollán, ex-health minister for Buenos Aires Province, said that “the decision is Cristina’s, but the vast majority of Peronist activists believe hope has a precedent.”
"Perhaps it is necessary for her to be there,” considered Treasury Prosecutor Carlos Zannini, a former presidential secretary under Fernández de Kirchner. “It's not that I'm launching Cristina's candidacy and she's probably going to reproach me."
Quilmes Mayor Mayra Mendoza, part of the La Cámpora political organisation linked to Kirchnerismo, put it even more simply, posting "CFK 2023" on social media.
"Cristina is the future,” added Andrés ‘Cuervo’ Larroque, another La Cámpora leader who was seen chanting “Cristina president” at last Friday’s event alongside Buenos Aires Province Governor Axel Kicillof.
Some leaders from the trade union movement have also voiced their support, with Canillitas secretary general Omar Plaini declaring that “once again the relationship that Cristina has with the working class and the national and popular camp has been demonstrated.”
Perhaps the most vocal support, however, is coming from grassroots activists. At last Friday’s rally, chants of “Cristina presidenta” swept across the venue.
For now, there has been no definition – that has only come from President Alberto Fernández, who has repeatedly reiterated his desire to run for re-election.