Argentina: Government calls for anticipated elections

Almost, suddenly, the President Duhalde decided to anticipate the electoral process scheduled for September 2003, to March next year. The unexpected announcement came hours later than the Minister of Economy, Roberto Lavagna, informed of significant advances in the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund.

However, the social tension is at its highest point after December events, following last week clashes when two protesters were killed and another one badly injured. Investigations carried out by the press showed the inexcusable responsibility of the police in what President Duhalde called a “Deadly Hunting” of demonstrators.

As a result of such research, major officials of the Buenos Aires Province police, main security force nationwide, were removed by national authorities. The out coming of the investigations provoked an active reaction of many social sectors and more demonstrations are expected for the following days.

Duhalde’s decision will frustrate, once again, presidential ambitions of the person, who was in post during the main part of the nineties, Carlos Menem. Now Constitution will not allow him to participate due to the fact that he has to wait for four years since the time, when his authorities were over until coming back to run for Presidency. Menem was conducting a strong media campaign to revert its four percent of vote intention in polls and the new scenario will put him out… on his birthday (2 July).

Eduardo Duhalde, the fifth Argentine President in seven months, considers that the country is in a better position now than when he took over in January. Therefore, he expects a peaceful transition towards the consolidated democratic and strengthened Government in 2003.

Hernan Etchaleco PRAVDA. RU Argentina

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