Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner delivered pointed remarks as she cast her vote in Santa Cruz for Argentina’s general elections on Sunday, distancing herself from the President Alberto Fernández’s administration and complaining that she hasn’t been “listened to.”
Appearing at a polling station at around 1.30pm, Fernández de Kirchner – who has been mostly absent from the ruling coalition’s election campaign – made a series of strong statements when local media approached her as she prepared to leave.
"I hope for a more sensible country," she said when asked about today’s presidential election, in which libertarian frontrunner Javier Milei is competing against ruling coalition hopeful, Economy Minister Sergio Massa, and opposition leader Patricia Bullrich.
The Kirchnerite leader tensed up, however, when a journalist asked her about the current Frente de Todos government.
Fernández de Kirchner immediately distanced herself from Fernández’s government, highlighting her differences with the head of state, which she said were “public and well-known.”
"We said that it was necessary to align prices, salaries, tariffs and pensions, and I was not listened to," she complained.
"This government was not mine, I was the president of the Senate, I have no decision-making power. In a presidential system, the one who decides is always the president," she said.
Fernández de Kirchner went on to highlight the problems related to Argentina’s US$44.5-billion debt programme with the International Monetary Fund, first contracted in 2018 by then-president Mauricio Macri and subsequently renegotiated by the current government.
"I hope for a more sensible country [after the election]. That everyone realises that it is necessary to agree on basic issues, because the enormous debt [with the International Monetary Fund] will require enormous agreements to see how we get out of the mess that means having a debt that imposes inflationary policies on us. If we had all had a policy of not wanting to subordinate ourselves, we would have been in a different situation. I hope that there will be gestures of good sense, society needs it," she said.
Fernández also confirmed that she will remain in Rio Gallegos overnight and will return to Buenos Aires on Monday, confirming that she will not visit the ruling coalition’s bunker in the capital on election night to support Sergio Massa.