Protect Democracy in Argentina: Oppose Constitutional Reform to Extend Term Limits

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Target: President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

Goal: Stop constitutional reform that would allow President Fernández de Kirchner to corruptly run for re-election and would defy the integrity of democracy in Argentina.

Argentina recently saw the biggest protest it has seen in a decade. Hundreds of thousands of citizens protested in the streets of Buenos Aires against the government. It was unclear what the main goal of the protest was; people held signs complaining of corruption, others of crime and other signs complained of inflation. The one defying theme of the protest was that everyone contested a proposed constitutional reform that would allow Cristina Fernández de Kirchner to run for a third term. The changing of the constitution would jeopardize democracy in the country.

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has been in the presidential palace for almost a decade now. Her late husband, Nestor Kirchner, became president in 2003. In 2007, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner succeeded her husband, winning the election by a landslide. Just last year, she was re-elected president, winning by 54%. Since her reelection, President Fernández de Kirchner’s approval rating has fallen below 40%. The citizens of Argentina are frustrated with high crime rates, inflation and political corruption. Many are also angry over Fernández de Kirchner’s attempt to reign in corporate media power, something that authoritarian leaders in the region have also done.

Citizens are against a proposed constitutional reform that many worry would try to end constitutional term limits so that Cristina Fernández de Kirchner can hold onto power.  Protesters said that they hoped the demonstration would prevent the constitutional reform. There are complaints that there is no separation of power within the government, with most of the power in the president’s hands. While Fernández de Kirchner has not said if she will seek a third term many of her allies are encouraging her to do so.  Many are accusing her of being an authoritarian. If she stayed for a third term she would be moving the country away from democracy and toward an authoritarian regime. A third presidential term would keep Fernández de Kirchner in the presidential palace, where her family will have ruled for 12 years at the end of the term. Her move to maintain power would usher in comparisons to authoritarian figures in the region like Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega.

Sign the petition to ensure that Argentina remains a democratic country and that President Fernández de Kirchner abides by the constitution and steps down after this term.

PETITION LETTER

Dear President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner,

I am writing to ask you to abide by the Argentinian Constitution and step down after this presidential term. According to the constitution, each president is allowed two terms. Not only have you served Argentina for two terms, but so did your late husband.

In order for Argentina to maintain democracy, there must be a change of power. I am asking you to observe the law and not run for another term. The recent protests have clearly demonstrated the current discontent in Argentina. If you follow through with the proposed constitution reform, discontent would only rise. The people of Argentina have made it clear that they do not want term limits reformed and that they oppose allowing a third presidential term.

I ask you to preserve the integrity of the democracy in Argentina and make this your last term. Allow a change of power in the country so that Argentina can remain a democratic nation. This is critical for the well-being of Argentina.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: quimpg via Flickr

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  • Eric von Borstel
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