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Argentina Political System

Political system

Following the military dictatorship 1976-1983, Argentina has had a democratic regime. The president has great power and is formally both head of state and government. The dominant political force has long been the Peronist Party, which is, however, divided into a number of factions, both right and left on the political scale. Since 2015, Argentina has been ruled by a bourgeois president, Mauricio Macri, and his alliance Cambiemos. However, the fall of 2019 led to a shift in power, when the peronist Alberto Fernández won the presidential election. He takes over power in Argentina on December 10, 2019.

According to the 1853 Constitution, the President is both Head of State and Commander-in-Chief. She is elected for a term of four years and has the right to stand for re-election once. The president is formally also the head of government but delegates most of the task to a cabinet chief. The Vice President is also elected in general elections. To win already in the first round, a presidential candidate must receive at least 45 percent of the vote.

  • Countryaah: Total population and chart of Argentina for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.

The legislative power lies with the Congress, which consists of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. The 257 members of the Chamber of Deputies are elected for a term of four years. From 2001, the Senate's 72 members, who have been in office for six years, are also elected in general elections. All provinces and Buenos Aires elect three senators each. Elections are held every two years to about half of the seats in the Chamber of Deputies and one third of seats in the Senate.

Formally, there is a duty to vote for anyone between the ages of 18 and 70. Since 2013, 16-year-olds can also vote, but for them it is not mandatory.

Political System of ArgentinaWhen Néstor Kirchner became president in 2003, exceptional rules were allowed that allowed the president to govern through decrees, in particularly severe circumstances. Both Kirchner and his successor Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Mauricio Macri have used this opportunity extensively.

In 2006, the power of Congress weakened as both chambers voted to allow the government to make any changes to the state budget as long as the total sum remains the same. Since 2010, all presidential candidates must be approved in open primary elections. In order to then be eligible to stand for election, a candidate must receive at least 1.5 percent of all votes.

Argentina is a federal republic with 23 provinces. Each province has its own laws, a legislative assembly and a government led by a governor. The capital occupies a special position as a federal district. Buenos Aires has far-reaching self-government with a directly elected mayor. Governors often have a great influence over Argentine politics.

At least 30 percent of all members must be women since 1991. This is true at both federal and provincial parliaments. In 2017, however, a new law was passed which states that from the 2019 elections at least 50 percent of the candidates must be women. According to the law, every second name on the party lists must be a woman and every other man. After the 2017 congressional elections, just over 38 percent of the MP's members were women.

Political parties

Argentine parties have often been built around a strong leader rather than an ideology and many parties have only one regional base. Corruption is a problem at all political levels and the popular distrust of politicians is strong. Two political directions, peronism and radicalism, characterized Argentine politics for many years.

Peronism is more of a movement than a political party. It was formed in the 1940s around President Juan Perón (see Modern History). The Peronists often play on nationalist and populist moods. Traditionally, the party, formally called the Partido Justicialista (PJ), has tried to win voters from the working and middle class with promises of social justice. Under Carlos Menem's rule from 1989 to 1999, it also gained supporters within the business community and the upper class. When Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner were in power, politics was dominated by the left-wing Segerfronten (Frente para la victoria, FpV).

During Fernández de Kirchner's presidency (2007–2015), the Victory Front's "youth federation" La Cámpora also strengthened its position. It was founded by Néstor's and Cristina's son Máximo Kirchner, and played an important role in winning support for the then government's candidates in elections or in organizing protests against provincial governments that opposed federal policy.

Ahead of the 2013 congressional elections, a new Peronist faction, the Peronist Renewal Front (Frente renovador peronista, FRP), was formed, which broke out of the Victory Front. It was led by Sergio Massa, who had previously been Fernández de Kirchner's cabinet manager. He was generally considered to be more pragmatic and market friendly than the then president. In the 2015 election, Massa was nominated as presidential candidate for the Alliance A New Alternative (Una nueva Alternative, UNA).

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in 2017 formed a brand new party, Citizens Unity (Unidad Ciudadana, UC), which then stood outside the Peronist Party's umbrella, with the stated goal of fighting Macri's economic policy. Most of UNA, UC, as well as several Peronist factions such as the Party of the Great Front (Partido Frente Grande) and the Uncompromising Party (Partido Intransigente) joined the 2019 election to Frente de Todos (The Front for All) whose candidate Alberto Fernández won the presidential election. At the same time, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was elected new vice president.

Prior to the fall of 2019, two Peronist factions formed the Federal Consensus Alliance (Consenso Federal) with Roberto Lavagna, Minister of Finance 2002-2005 as presidential candidate.

Radicalism is mainly represented by the Radical Party (Unión cívica radical, UCR), which was formed in 1891. The Radical Party joined the opposition to the military regime from 1976 to 1983. At the national level, the party has lost influence since 2003 and is now part of the alliance around Mauricio Macri, who won the 2015 presidential election but lost power in 2019. This was the first time in many years that Argentina had a president who was not a Peronist or belonged to the Radical Party.

In 2015, Macris formed the center / right party, Republican proposal (Propuesta republicana, PRO) alliance Cambiemos (Let us change) with the UCR and the former UCR politician Elisa Carriós party The Citizens Coalition -ARI (Coalición Cívica Afirmación para una República Igitar). Before joining politics in the early 1990s, Macri was best known as president of the Boca Juniors football club. His party PRO has been described as a "progressive right party". The alliance progressed strongly in the parliamentary elections in October 2017, but still failed to reach its own majority in Congress. In the same year, Cambiemos also strengthened its position at the provincial level. Prior to the 2019 elections, the alliance was renamed Juntos por el Cambio (Together for change).

Groups called piqueteros try to block streets, or otherwise protest what they see as abusive conditions, demand new jobs or social reforms. In the 1990s, it was often about spontaneous actions, but the groups have gradually come to act as tools for different Peronist factions or parts of the labor movement.



New and controversial media laws are adopted

The Senate extends laws that give the government the right to regulate prices, negotiate contracts with socially beneficial companies and renegotiate government debt without congressional approval until the end of 2011 (they are later extended by two years). Congress also approves new media laws which mean that an individual media company may only have 10 licenses to broadcast radio or TV. A new federal authority will also be created to review the etheric media. The decision is criticized by the opposition, which believes that the government is trying to strengthen its control over the media. Congress also enacts laws that require all parties to hold open primary elections, limiting how large private campaign grants may go to radio and TV advertising.


Temporary law gives the president more power

In August, Congress extends the temporary law that gives the president the right to enact laws on his own, through decrees.


Argentina places demands on sea areas

Argentina is turning to the UN to formally claim large seas, including both the Falkland Islands and parts of Antarctica. Britain has already rejected Argentine demands for negotiations on the Falkland Islands.


The country is affected by drought

Argentina is affected by the most severe drought in 100 years.

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