Argentina. As expected, Opposition Alliance candidate
Fernando de la Rúa won the October 24 presidential election
by a clear margin over the ruling Peronist Party's candidate
Eduardo Duhalde (48% vs. 38%). It is the first time in
Argentina's history that the country gets a coalition
government, and because Rúa's valallians did not get their
own majority in Congress, an unstable period is predicted.
Despite the peronists retaining their dominance in the
Senate and winning most of the governor elections held
during the year (including Buenos Aires), the election was a
major setback for them. From 1989, the Peronists were the
largest party in the House of Representatives and in 1995-97
had their own majority. Carlos Menem, who for a long time
tried to get himself re-elected a second time, bitterly
stated that he would have been a better candidate than
Duhalde had he been allowed to stand.
The new government's economic position was not bright.
The defeat of the Peronist Party was the election of the
electorate over Menem's rule, during which unemployment rose
to over 14% and the number of poor people increased,
especially in Greater Buenos Aires. According to
Countryaah official website, the budget deficit is
estimated at $ 10 billion in 2000, for which negotiations
with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are being
conducted. Most analysts believe that Argentina's economic
growth will be one of the lowest in the world in the next
few years. Trade relations with Brazil have also
deteriorated. A general economic slowdown in both countries
has resulted in a declining volume in bilateral trade, and
safeguards for the own industries have been introduced.
Especially Brazil's devaluation on January 13 created
problems for Argentina, whose trade is 27% with Brazil,
In January, General Reynaldo Bignone, the last president
of the military dictatorship, was arrested on child rape and
abducted by children who became orphans during the so-called
dirty war (1976–83). The crimes are not covered by the
amnesty laws of the 1980s.
In November, Spanish investigating judge Baltasar Garzon,
who is leading the legal process against Chile's dictator
Pinochet, requested that 12 members of the former military
junta in Argentina be arrested. Garzon requested the former
Junta members, and another eighty suspects, be extradited to
Spain for trial on genocide, torture and terrorism.
Argentina's both outgoing and incoming president declared
that they refuse to extradite former members of the military
junta for trials abroad.