Alberto Fernandez says he will ‘hand over the presidential sash’ and not seek a second term in office in October polls.
Argentina’s president has said he will not seek re-election when the South American nation goes to the polls later this year, throwing open a race to lead the ruling Peronist coalition at the ballot amid a deepening economic crisis.
In a video message on Friday, Alberto Fernandez said he would “hand over the presidential sash to whomever has been legitimately elected at the polls by the popular vote” in October and not seek a second term in office.
The Peronists, Argentina’s foremost political power, are reeling in opinion polls with inflation running at more than 100 percent and dwindling dollar reserves, with infighting between factions over who should be its presidential candidate.
The centre-left Fernandez, who came into office in late 2019, acknowledged in the seven-and-a-half-minute video that “it is clear we did not achieve everything we set out to do” during his administration.
About seven in 10 Argentinians see Fernandez in a negative light, according to a March poll by Giacobbe & Asociados, a local consultancy.
Only 10 percent have a positive image of the president, the poll found.
Fernandez’s decision not to seek re-election comes at the end of a week in which the local currency has suffered a sharp depreciation in the financial markets and sovereign bond prices have plunged.