Will Máximo Kirchner Take The Reins Of Kirchnerism?

The Prosecutor's Office requested 12 years in prison for the leader of Kirchnerism, Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. If found guilty, she will not be able to assume public office again.

Maximo Kirchner

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LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

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Leer en español: ¿Será Máximo Kirchner quien tome las riendas del kirchnerismo?

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is possibly the most powerful person in Argentine politics. The current vice president has held the most important positions, from first lady to president and senator. She is currently facing one of the most difficult challenges of her political life: an accusation of corruption that could sentence her to 12 years in prison and political death.

Prosecutor Diego Luciani and the Kirchner family (former presidents Néstor and Cristina) installed a corruption matrix that committed crimes in the distribution and execution of the Santa Cruz road works. According to the accusing entity, this organization lasted 12 years and was in charge of embezzling public money in a systemic way. The prosecutor in the case not only accused the current vice president of being the "head of the illicit association", but also blamed her for being responsible for "prejudice to the public coffers". The prosecutors called this fact "the greatest corruption maneuver that has ever been known in the country" and it also affects 12 other senior Kirchner officials, such as the former Minister of Works, Julio de Vido, and the portfolio secretary, José López. In addition to one of the most important pieces of the case: Lázaro Báez, a banker and builder who, during the presidency of Néstor and Cristina, was awarded contracts for the Santa Cruz highway. The prosecution assures that Báez's fortune (today imprisoned for money laundering) increased by 12,000% and at the same time, he had private contracts with the Kitchner family.

Cristina tries to avoid the accusations and has insisted on demonstrating the closeness between the prosecutor in the case and former President Mauricio Macri (her political rival). This, just one year before the presidential elections that leave Kirchnerism beaten after the unpopular government of Alberto Fernández, in which Cristina is vice president.

The strategy that CFK can use

Despite the fact that it seems that the legal dispute will only be resolved in court, the former president has an ace up her sleeve that would allow her to evade prosecutor Diego Luciani's request for conviction by moving to another jurisdiction: Cristina Fernández senator 2023.

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Although at the moment they are only rumors and the vice president has not made any decision, it is true that if she reaches the Senate next year, her case would go to another jurisdiction and the panorama could be different. That is also what has been rumored within the high ranks of the vice presidency.

“She is not going to jail. She is going to take the same path that Menem took”, adds a senior official from the national Cabinet to the Argentine newspaper Clarín. Former President Carlos Menem became a senator in 2005 and through successive re-elections, he avoided going to jail.

Máximo Kirchner, the heir to Kirchnerism

With Cristina's complicated political panorama, the question that arises is: What will happen to Kirchnerism? The most decisive political force within the powerful Peronism and one of the most important in the entire history of the country will be orphaned if CFK leaves the scene, at least on the front page.

Máximo Kirchner appears as the main heir to the Kirchner dynasty, the eldest son of the marriage between Cristina and her ex-husband, former president Néstor Kirchner.

Máximo followed in the footsteps of his parents in politics and since 2015 he began his career in the legislative branch. He held the position of National Deputy for Santa Cruz between 2015 and 2019. Later, he became a national deputy for the province of Buenos Aires as a candidate for the Renovador Front and was appointed head of the coalition caucus in the Chamber.

He has been one of the most critical voices against President Alberto Fernández within the coalition and one of his mother's most important allies. Unquestionably, if Cristina Fernández de Kirchner left the national political scene, Máximo would be the natural heir of Kirchnerism with his mother always in the shadow.

However, the scandal that today splashes the sole head of Kirchnerism, deals another blow to the official Peronism that today governs with Alberto Fernández. For what the next elections, the path for the survival of Kirchnerism will be difficult and complicated.

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