A Buenos Aires court has annulled the gubernatorial election that favored Argentina’s governing party, outraging officials of President Cristina Fernandez’s administration. The decision also is a boost to their opponents ahead of the Oct. 25 presidential contest.
A local court in Tucuman province ruled Wednesday that irregularities were so widespread in the Aug. 23 vote that new elections are necessary. Dozens of ballot boxes were burned and excess counting errors were found. The results had pro-government candidate Juan Manzur winning by as much as 52% over his nearest rival, Jose Cano.
This is the first time a court has thrown out a major election in Argentina since the dictatorship ended in 1983. It gave a victory to opposition parties who have tried to make irregularities in the local voting process a campaign issue for the presidential election.
Opposition vice presidential candidate Gabriela Michetti said Thursday the ruling was a turning point because it “puts an end to attempts at fraud in Argentina.”
But the president’s Cabinet chief, Anibal Fernandez, called the decision “a judicial coup d’etat” and suggested the national government might intervene to take political control of the province. He said the decision would be appealed to the provincial supreme court.
The pro-government’s coalition representative in Tucuman, Marcelo Caponio, said that he supports removal of the judges who voted to annul the election.
Does this mean we strike Argentina from our list of top havens for living and investing? Absolutely not. In this case, it’s comforting to see the corruption brought out into daylight and the election results thrown out (however long that may last). As the country continues on a political and economic rollercoaster (and will probably do so for decades to come), we can’t wait to see what lies ahead… and will be ready to jump on the opportunity.