Politics of Argentina
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Politics of Argentina
Politics of Argentina
The politics of Argentina takes place in the structure of what the Constitution defines as “a federal presidential representative democratic Republic” in which the President of
Argentina serves as both Head of State and Head of Government.
Legislative power rests in both the President and the two chambers of the Argentine National Congress.
The Judiciary is independent of the Executive and the Legislature.
Elections often take place in a multi-party system.
Executive branch: the current Chief of State and Head of Government is President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
Legislative branch: a bicameral Congress, made up of the Senate (seventy-two seats), led by the Vice President, and the 257-seat Chamber of Deputies, currently led by Eduardo
Fellner of the Province of Jujuy; the General Auditing Office of the Nation and the Ombudsman are also part of this branch.
Judiciary branch: made up of federal judges and others with different jurisdictions, appointed by the President and approved by the Senate, who may be discharged by Congress;
there are currently two empty positions.
Government Federal presidential constitutional republic
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Vice President Amado Boudou
Supreme Court President Ricardo Lorenzetti
Upper house Senate
Lower house Chamber of Deputies
Argentina functioned as a representative democracy as of 1913, even though this was constantly interrupted by coups d’état.
After World War II and the presidency of Juan Perón, recurrent economic and institutional disasters helped cause a series of military régimes.
Law 8871, or the Sáenz Peña Law of 1912 (Ley Sáenz Peña) created universal, secret, and mandatory male suffrage; this marked the beginning of the middle classes in government,
and the landowning elite was relocated.
Female suffrage was not enacted until 1947 under Perón.
The dictatorship of Jorge Rafeal Videla began in 1976, but it fell into decline within six years after Argentina was defeated in the Falklands War of 1982 (Guerra de las
Malvinas/Guerra del Atlántico Sur), and ended the following year when President Raúl Alfonsín of the Radical Civic Union (Unión Cívica Radical, UCR) was elected.
Alfonsín dealt with major problems, such as a military uprising, and stepped down in 1989, six months before his term was scheduled to end, but the country was not in any danger of
another military coup.
Carlos Menem of the Justicialist Party (Partido Justicialista) served as president for ten years (1989-1999) and secured a deal with Alfonsín in order to accomplish a 1994 constitutional
reform that would allow him to be re-elected.
After a neoliberal program, however, Fernando de la Rúa of the Alianza, led by the UCR, won the election; this was the first time in decades that an Argentine president
appropriately completed his term and gave his responsibilities to another democratically-elected president.
However, de la Rúa could not successfully handle the crisis and finally stepped down on December 21, 2001, in the midst of violent riots.
Numerous short-lived temporary presidents subsequently came and went; this ended only when Congress selected Eduardo Duhalde of the Justicialist Party to rule until some kind of
social and economic peace could be restored; he took care of the most dangerous matters and called for free elections, which Néstor Kirchner of the Justicialist Party won (in the
first use of the ballotage system).
Kirchner assumed office on 25 May 2003.
He resigned in December 2007 so his wife Cristina Fernández de Kirchner could win the election in place of him.
Current major parties (as of 2015)
Justicialist Party (Partido Justicialista, PJ), the Peronist Party that holds two opposing groups:
Front for Victory (Frente para la Victoria, FpV), left-wing group of the PJ; see Kirchnerism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirchnerism)
Federal Peronism/Renewal Front (Peronismo Federal, PF), right-wing group of the PJ
Broad Front UNEN (Frente Amplio UNEN, “UNEN”), centre-left to left-wing alliance of the following non-Peronist parties:
Radical Civic Union(Unión Cívica Radical, UCR)
Socialist Party (Partido Socialista, PS)
Civic Coalition ARI (Coalición Cívica ARI, CC)
GEN Party (Partido GEN, GEN)
Proyecto Sur (Project South)
Freeman of the South Movement (Movimiento Libres del Sur, LdS)
Authentic Socialist (Party Partido Socialista Auténtico, PSA)
Republican Proposal (Propuesta Republicana, Pro), centre-right non-Peronist party
Minor national parties (as of 2015)
Other parties and alliances enjoying national legislative representation or provincial governships:
Neuquén People's Movement (Movimiento Popular Neuquino, MPN), a regional Peronist party; holds the governorship of Neuquén and banks in both Chambers of Congress
Fueguino People’s Movement (Movimiento Popular Fueguino, MPF), a regional Peronist party; has banks in both Chambers of Congress
Civic Front of Santiago (Frente Cívico por Santiago, FCS), a regional Kirchnerist party; holds the governorship of Santiago and banks in both Chambers of Congress
Patagonic Social Party (Partido Social Patagónico, PSP), a regional centre-left party; has banks in the Chamber of Deputies
Communist Party of Argentina (Partido Comunista de la Argentina, PCA), far-left Marxist-Leninist party
Pink House (La Casa Rosada), seat of the executive branch
Supreme Court of Argentina (Corte Suprema de Justicia de la Nación)
Radical Civic Union
Social liberal political party in Argentina.
Has been ideologically mixed, ranging from classical liberalism to social democracy.
Member of Socialist International.
Founded by radical liberals in 1891; oldest existing political party in Argentina.
Was for many years either opposed to Peronist governments or prohibited during
Draws its support mostly from the middle class.
Has, during its history, advocated fair elections, rule of citizens over the military, and
liberal democratic values.
Was seen as a strong supporter of human rights during the seventies and the
Had forty-two representatives and fourteen Senators by May 2014.
Leftist political party in Argentina.
Founded in 1896 and led by Justo and Nicolás Repetto, making it Argentina’s first
Aligned itself with the Second International.
Member of the Labour and Socialist International between 1924-1940.
Underwent numerous splits throughout its existence; the most important of those
took place in the 1960s, when the party split in half, and gave birth to the more
extreme Argentine Socialist Party (Partido Socialista Argentino, PSA) and the more
moderate Democratic Socialist Party (Partido Socialista Democrático, PSD).
Two groups left the PSA in 1966: Vanguardia Comunista and Partido Socialista de
In 1972, the rest of the PSA, along with other leftist factions, founded the Popular
Socialist Party Partido Socialista Popular (PSP).
In 2002, the PSP and the PSD rejoined, establishing the Socialist Party.
The End (El Fin)