Argentine VP Kirchner Blasts Fernandez Over ‘Catastrophic’ Loss

Argentine VP Kirchner Blasts Fernandez Over ‘Catastrophic’ Loss

20:02 - Argentina’s powerful Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner slammed President Alberto Fernandez in an open letter, heightening the political crisis that has roiled the government since it lost an election on Sunday.

Kirchner, who governed Argentina from 2007 to 2015, published a letter Thursday blaming Fernandez for a “political catastrophe” she says was caused by his economic strategy. Their coalition’s loss in the Sept. 12 midterm primary vote was largely due to the government’s mistaken policy of fiscal austerity, she said, and called an overhaul of the cabinet.

In meetings with the president ahead of the vote, Kirchner said she repeatedly warned against spending cuts “that were negatively impacting economic activity and society, and which would undoubtedly have electoral consequences.”

“I didn’t just tell him once, I got tired of saying it -- and not just to the president,” she wrote. “The answer was always that it wasn’t like that, that I was mistaken and that, according to the polls, we were going to do ‘very well’ in the election.”

Kirchner chose Fernandez to lead their Frente de Todos coalition ticket for the 2019 presidential vote. The letter blows open the political divide between Kirchner and her radical Peronist officials and Fernandez’s more moderate cabinet members just two months before the final midterm vote on Nov. 14.

The presidency’s press office declined to comment.

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