When the first elections were held in
Argentina after the 1943 coup, one of the coup makers,
Juan Domingo Perón, whose Peronist movement came to
characterize Argentine politics. In 1955 Peron was
deposed by the military and fled, but was able to return
in 1973 when he was also elected president. The
situation in the country became increasingly polarized
and in 1976 the military seized power. The dictatorship
fell after Argentina failed in 1982 to attempt to
conquer the Falkland Islands from the British, the junta
fell and democracy was reinstated. At the beginning of
the 1990s, the country entered an acute economic crisis
that also affected politics. A recovery began in 2003
after Néstor Kirchner was elected president. He was
succeeded in 2007 by his wife, Cristina
Fernández de Kirchner, who sat in power in the fall of
The military regime that took power in 1943 dissolved
the political parties and introduced censorship of the
media. It emphasized nationalism, industrial development
and social reform. Partly inspired by Italian fascism,
the junta advocated a social system where the overall
issues would be handled by a political elite, but where
the individual would have a great influence over his
professional life. But the military was divided and
little equipped to lead the country.
List of most commonly used acronyms containing Argentina. Also includes historical, economical and political aspects of the country.
Colonel Juan Domingo Perón, who was involved in
organizing the coup in 1943, gained strong support from
the unions but aroused dissatisfaction with the military
that seized him in the fall of 1945. Perón was released
following mass protests and he won the presidential
election that had been announced until 1946.
As president, Perón improved the situation of the
poor, gave women the right to vote and nationalized
industries. A strong trade union movement, CGT, with
close ties to the Peronist Party (PJ) was built up.
Peron's politically active wife Eva (Evita) Duarte de
Perón became an almost sacred symbol of this policy.
Foreign companies were nationalized and the state
took control of foreign trade. The domestic market
industry expanded and workers' real wages rose, but
agriculture was neglected and the economy became
imbalanced. Trade unions, business organizations and
other interest groups entered into pacts with the state
instead of trying to push through political changes and
there was little room for any opposition. As the economy
deteriorated, the regime became increasingly
Perón was re-elected in 1951 and changed policy by
resisting wage demands, supporting agriculture and
trying to attract foreign capital to the country.
Through this and the rising oppression, he lost many
former followers. The wife, who was probably his
strongest political asset, died of cancer in 1952. Three
years later, Perón was deposed in a coup and forced into
The Peroni movement was banned and the following
decade the power switched between military regimes and
weak democratically elected governments. During the
latter part of the 1960s, militant leftist ideas gained
more followers in universities and workplaces. Strikes
and demonstrations were common and political violence
increased. The military announced elections, in which
the Peronist Party was also allowed to participate.
The 1973 presidential election was won by the
peronist Héctor José Cámpora. He left shortly afterwards
to have Juan Perón return from his country flight in
Spain and take part in a new election. The aged and ill
Perón was elected president that year with his new wife,
María Estela ("Isabelita") Martínez de Perón, as Vice
President. Perón renounced the violence in his name in
the country but could not resolve the crisis. A short
year later, Perón passed away and his politically
inexperienced wife became president.
The Peroni movement was divided into a right and a
left flank. With Perón's death, the split became total.
Extreme groups took up arms against each other and the
country was haunted by kidnappings and murders while the
economy continued to deteriorate.
Military coup and "the dirty war"
In 1976, the military seized power. Juntan, with
General Jorge Videla as president, banned political and
union activities and all opposition was defeated. The
"dirty war" (la guerra sucia) harmed victims in all
social groups. Those suspected of left-wing terrorism or
left-wing sympathies were abducted, tortured, murdered
or "disappeared". Others were murdered because they had
assets that the military wanted to seize. For seven
years, according to prudent estimates, 10,000 to 30,000
people were killed. The abuses brought international
criticism and the so-called crazy mothers protested with
danger to their lives to find out what had happened to
their relatives. Many Argentines fled to other
At the same time, Juntan's neoliberal economic
policies led to corruption, currency speculation and a
rapidly growing foreign debt. Discontent with the regime
rose. In March 1981, Army Chief General Roberto Viola
took over as President. He promised a dialogue with the
political parties about a return to democracy. But the
military leadership then replaced Viola.
General Leopoldo Galtieri, who took office as
president in December 1981, gave an order in April 1982
to occupy the British Falkland Islands. Argentines and
Britons had, for a couple of centuries, quarreled over
these South Atlantic islands. The war raised patriotic
yore at home, but in June Argentina was forced to
capitulate and Galtieri resigned. Over 900 people were
killed in the war, of which 655 were Argentinians. The
defeat paved the way for a return to democracy.
Elections were announced in October 1983.
The return of democracy
The Radical Party (UCR) and its
candidate Raúl Alfonsín, who criticized both the
military dictatorship and the war, won the presidential
election. For the first time since it was formed, the
Peronist Party was defeated, partly because of some
members' contact with the military.
Expectations of the new democracy were high. Most
senior officers were forced to retire, a national
commission investigated the military's abuse, and
several former generals were sentenced for crimes
against humanity. The military, which was still a factor
of power, opposed this. From 1986 to 1987, amnesty laws
were issued that prevented the examination of the guilt
of lower officers. Later, convicted junta leaders were
also granted amnesty.
At the same time, the new government opened up to the
outside world, not least the neighboring countries,
among other things, a border dispute with Chile was
resolved. But the economy deteriorated, foreign debt was
soaring and inflation plummeted. The union CGT
organized strikes against government policy. The
government has now initiated the privatization of
unprofitable state industries. Growth improved, but the
budget deficit and inflation continued to rise.
The peronist Carlos Menem won the presidential
election in 1989, but the victory seemed more due to
dissatisfaction with the UCR government than any
confidence in the peronists. Menem talked about "popular
market economy", promised a "production revolution" and
played on patriotic strings in the traditional Peronist
spirit. At the same time, the economy was close to
collapse, creating social unrest.
Alfonsín introduced an emergency permit and resigned
five months before the planned change of power.
Menem led Peronism to the right. The market reforms
gave some success to the price of increased unemployment
and poorer social protection networks. He was accused of
having contacts with the mafia which made big gains on
In 1991 a drastic currency reform was implemented and
the following year the exchange rate of the Argentine
peso was tied to the US dollar. Despite austerity
policies and social concerns, Menem and the Peronists
won the 1995 election.
The 1997 parliamentary election was a success for an
alliance between the Radical Party and Frepaso
(an association of various left-wing parties) whose
candidate Fernando de la Rúa won the 1999 presidential
election. to hard savings. In order to obtain loans from
the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the government
made unpopular cuts in 2001, but that did not help.
Later that year, a debt crisis triggered even more
drastic measures. Hundreds of thousands of people went
on strikes and protests. New corruption revelations
increased dissatisfaction with politicians.
When restrictions on bank withdrawals were
introduced, it gave new impetus to the protests. In
December, the crisis culminated with riots in the
streets and looting of shops. Peronist groups and former
members of the intelligence service were accused of
organizing some of the riots. 27 people lost their lives
in the riots and de la Rúa resigned. After a few
confused weeks, when several temporary presidents
succeeded each other, on New Year's Day 2002, Parliament
appointed the peronist Eduardo Duhalde as new president.
One of his first measures was to release the person's
connection to the dollar, which in practice meant a
devaluation. The intention was to speed up exports, but
the devaluation meant that even imported goods became
more expensive, as did bank loans that had been taken in
dollars. Dissatisfaction was soon also directed at
Duhalde. In January 2003, the government agreed with the
IMF on a new economic package which meant that Argentina
could postpone the repayments on the national debt. The
economy began to recover, but according to unofficial
data, more than 60 percent of the population lived below
the poverty line.
Néstor Kirchner wins the election
At the same time, the divisions among the Peronists
became increasingly clear. Three Peronists ran in the
April 2003 presidential election: Carlos Menem, Néstor
Kirchner, former Santa Cruz governor, and Adolfo
Rodríguez Saá, president for a short term in 2001. In
the first round, Menem got just over 24 percent of the
vote against 22 percent for Kirchner. Prior to the
second round of elections in May, Kirchner led all
opinion polls. Menem then chose to jump off, which meant
Kirchner won. The parliamentary elections at the end of
the same year also became a success for the Peronist
In May 2003, Kirchner took office as president. The
Peronists had a majority in Congress, but far from all
factions supported the government. Kirchner now began to
build a power base outside his own party. He distanced
himself from the market-oriented policy and promised to
improve the living conditions of the population. Wages
in the public sector were increased, as were pensions.
Kirchner forced some 40 senior officers to retire,
which was seen as a way to get rid of militants who
could be suspected of human rights violations (see
Political system). In 2004, the president apologized to
the victims for the abuses committed during the
dictatorship. Kirchner had a strong support in public
opinion and was well-aided by the rapid economic
Ahead of the 2005 congressional elections, an open
power struggle broke out between the president and
Duhalde. Kirchner's faction The victory front
(FpV) in some constituencies contested the official
candidates of the Peronist Party, which was appointed by
Duhaldes faction. The victory front received 39 percent
of the vote, while Duhale's list received just over 9
In 2003-2005, the government was able to show good
growth figures, but poverty was widespread and
government spending increased faster than revenue.
Energy shortages, large food price increases and several
corruption scandals led to Kirchner's brilliance
A difficult start for Cristina Fernández de
His wife, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, was named
Segerfrontan candidate in the October 2007 presidential
election. She clearly won 45 percent of the vote, ahead
of Elisa Carrió of the center-left Alliance Citizens
Coalition and Roberto Lavagna, Kirchner's former finance
minister. At the same time, the Kirchner faithful forces
were strengthened in the congressional elections.
Fernández de Kirchner promised to prioritize the
fight against poverty and unemployment. However, many
Argentinians assumed that her husband retained his
influence behind the scenes.
However, she got off to a difficult start. The
decision to sharply increase export taxes on soy, wheat
and meat in early 2008 triggered a conflict between the
government and four farmer organizations that showed
their dissatisfaction by setting up roadblocks around
the country. In many places this led to a shortage of
food and food prices rose rapidly. The government
claimed that the money was needed for social programs
for the poor and to combat inflation, but a majority of
Argentines nevertheless supported the peasants'
The conflict with the peasants dragged on over time.
When the congress voted in July 2008 on the tax
increases, the president's proposal won by a marginal
margin in the Chamber of Deputies but lost in the Senate
since Vice President Julio Cobos voted no. After that,
Cobos was transformed into one of the government's
Although the economy was growing, the country was
struggling with financial difficulties, some of which
had their roots in the crisis in the early 1990s, but
the global financial crisis that took off in the fall of
2008 compounded the problems. As real wages fell,
support for the president fell. The congressional
election, which would have been held in October 2009,
was preceded in June of that year. The president
justified this because the government needed to
concentrate on overcoming the economic crisis and not
wasting time on a long election campaign.
In the electoral movement, the Kirchner faithful
factions of the Peronist Party met their fiercest
opposition from a bourgeois alliance, Union-PRO, led by
the right-wing Peronist Fransisco de Narváez. The
victory front lost its majority in both chambers of
Congress. In the election to the Chamber of Deputies,
Néstor Kirchner was also defeated by de Narváez. The
second largest representation in the Chamber of Deputies
was a loosely cohesive mid-left alliance led by Elisa
During the five months remaining until the new
congress was to take effect, the president sought to
enforce as many new laws as possible. A decree
introduced a new child allowance for poor families and
100,000 new jobs would be created through public
projects. In addition, a controversial law was passed
that increased the state's influence over the media.
When the new Congress took office in December 2009,
the opposition took control of all parliamentary
commissions in the Chamber of Deputies, but it was
weakened by the fact that it was so fragmented.
In 2010, the economy began to recover. It enabled the
government to invest in new social reforms, which in
turn gave the president a boost in public opinion.
Speculation that Néstor Kirchner would run in the 2011
presidential election came as a shame when he died in a
heart attack in October 2010.
The President is re-elected
In June 2011, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
announced that she would stand for re-election. The
political scene had changed again: the economy grew by
almost 10 percent and by 2010 export earnings had
increased by almost a third. However, inflation created
problems and government finances ended up at minus.
Fernández de Kirchner was re-elected as president in
October 2011 with almost 54 percent of the vote. In the
congressional elections, which were held simultaneously,
the government gained its own majority in both chambers,
with the Radical Party as the largest opposition party.
When the economy began to tighten again in 2012,
criticism against the government grew. It was fueled by
speculation that the government was planning political
reforms that would allow the president to run for
re-election. Trade unions that had previously supported
the president, as well as dissatisfied with low wages,
were turned against the government. The president also
lost supporters among the middle class. She tried to
recapture the initiative by playing on nationalist
sentiments on the issue of the Falkland Islands (see
Foreign Policy and Defense).
The victory front suffered a setback in the
congressional elections in October, but still became the
largest party in both chambers. Second place came the
Radical Party. Even that PRO made a good choice, as did
a new Peronist faction The Renewal Front (FR) (see
Old debt to US hedge funds (which the government
called gambling funds) continued to create problems for
the government, and several international credit rating
agencies considered Argentina to be "limited state
bankruptcy" at the end of July / August.
The country's assets in foreign currency continued to
decline. In the fall of 2014, the sum was down to $ 30
million, which is said to correspond to six months of
imports. Low prices for the country's raw materials
exacerbated the economic problems. However, lower oil
prices, as well as a currency exchange with China, meant
that the problems eased somewhat by the end of 2014.
Import restrictions led to a shortage of spare parts for
industry and certain consumer goods.
Shift of power
The presidential election on October 25, 2015
appeared to be a fairly open deal between three
candidates: Daniel Scioli, governor of the Province of
Buenos Aires, and Man of the Victory Front, Sergio
Massa, who had previously been Fernández de Kirchner's
cabinet manager who was running for the newly formed
United for a new alternatives (UNA) and Mauricio Macri,
from Republican Proposal (PRO).
Scioli won the first round, but lost by barely a
margin against Macri in the second. The election was
also a setback for the Victory Front, which lost its
majority in Congress.