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This October, Argentinians make use of their right to vote and elect a new (or re-elect the same) president. The re-election is something relatively new, since Carlos Menem changed the law and made it possible to be re-elected for a third term. He did this as he wanted to be re-re-elected, but fortunately, that did not happen in 1999. Even if you are living in Argentina, the whole political process and parties can be a bit confusing, so we wanted to put together a quick guide to the candidates for 2011.

Running for president:

Cristina Kirschner – She is the current president, belongs to Frente para la Victoria, one of the three branches of the Partido Justicialista (PJ). With supporters like Madres y Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo, CGT (General Confederation of Workers) and Hugo Chavez, Cristina´s plan is oriented towards popular needs (Modelo Nacional y Popular).

Eduardo Duhalde – He is ex vice-president, ex-intern president, ex-Governor of the Province of Buenos Aires, belongs to Union Popular, another branch of the PJ. In his speeches, he talks about “peace, order, and respect of the law” and is an admirer of Michelle Bachellete and Jose Mujica.

Alberto Rodriguez Saa – He is ex-governor of San Luis and belongs to Peronismo Federal, the third branch of PJ. He has said he wants to implement the same politics that made San Luis so success compared to the whole country.

Ricardo Alfonsin – He is the son of the ex-president Raul Alfonsin. His plan consists of improving industries, erradicating extreme poverty and decentralizing the resources.

Hermes Binner – He is part of the Socialist Party. He is trying to position the democratic left by partnering with Norma Morandini, a journalist with a strong connection to the left.

Elisa Carrio – She is a current congresswoman for the Coalicion Civica. Her plan includes a reform of the education laws and the proclamation of a Co-Participation Law, which aims to eradicate corruption. In her words, hers will be the first Government without corporate or syndical ties.

Jorge Altamira – He is the historic head of the Partido Obrero and belongs to the Frente de Izquierda y los trabajadores, an alliance including the many, many left political parties. Their motto for the elections is “Let the crisis be paid by the capitalists”.

The October elections are presidential and legislative. In addition to voting for president and vice president, Argentinians will renew half of the Chamber of Deputies and Governor for the provinces.

The big day is Sunday, October 23. On November 20, there could be a runoff, or ballotagge. This runoff election could be avoided if a candidate obtains 45% of the vote in the first round or 40% with at least 10% margin over the second place candidate.

So, Saturday 22, remember to stock up anything you need food or drink wise and do not make huge plans for the night since bars and clubs are supposed to close early and watch democracy with all its glory and imperfection.