Buenos Aires, Argentina — President Alberto Fernández of Argentina announced on Friday that he will not run for a second term in office in this year’s general elections. Following a week of uncertainty surrounding rumors of the resignation of his Economy Minister, Fernández decided to pull out of the presidential race.
“On that day [December 10], I will give the presidential sash to whoever has been elected,” said the president in a 7-minute video he posted online called “My decision.”
In his video, Fernández mentioned some of the challenges his administration faced over the past four years.
He highlighted the economic conditions in which he received the country after taking over the presidency from Mauricio Macri, including Macri’s 2018 decision to take out a USD $50 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “In 2019 we received an indebted country, in recession and in default,” said Fernández.
He also mentioned the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and an historic drought that has plagued Argentina’s crops. “Almost 20 billion dollars won’t be collected by our country,” he stated.
Fernández then spent a few minutes talking about his political activism inside the peronist party and concluded that he nowadays doesn’t have “a single adversary” inside the ruling Frente de Todos coalition.
He said he has set his sights on solving the country’s economic turmoil with the little time he has left in office, as well as clearing the way in the upcoming presidential election so that “any member of his party” can compete in the primary elections in August.
After a week that saw the black-market USD rate skyrocket from 400 pesos per dollar to 440, the resignation of the president’s chief advisor, and rumors that his Economy Minister, Sergio Massa, would resign, Fernández claims that he decided not to run to focus solely on solving Argentina’s economic turbulence.