From the moment he took office as Argentina’s president last December, Alberto Fernandez has been constrained by two realities. The first is the country’s grave economic crisis, which he inherited from his pro-business predecessor, Mauricio Macri. Argentina’s GDP is projected to contract for the third year in a row in 2020, while inflation is expected to top 40 percent, all while the government tries to restructure its staggering foreign debt.
The second constraining reality is Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who was initially expected to run for president last year but instead picked Fernandez—who is not related—for the top of her ticket. A former two-term president, she remains the most powerful political figure in the country and controls the left wing of a diverse Peronist coalition. Her power and influence make it difficult for Alberto Fernandez to present a vision that can set Argentina on a stable path of reforms in order to avoid constant crises and debt defaults.