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Fernandez to run for president's post

world Updated: Jul 02, 2007 13:27 IST

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Argentine first lady Senator Cristina Fernandez will run for the presidential post and her candidature will be announced later this month, Spanish news agency EFE said Monday.

Newspapers said the senator would contest on the governing party's ticket in the October 28 presidential election, following months of speculation over whether she or her husband, President Nestor Kirchner, would be the candidate.

The newspaper Clarin reported that the rally would be held on July 19, while other newspapers mentioned different dates for the launch of Fernandez's candidacy.

Congressman Carlos Kunkel, one of the governing Peronist Party's main political strategists, said Saturday that the Front for Victory alliance's candidate would be announced in July.

Kirchner took office in May 2003 as standard-bearer of the Front for Victory, which is a faction of the Peronist Party, and will conclude his mandate on December 10.

The newspapers, citing government officials, said the decision as to who would be the candidate was made in a long meeting last week among Kirchner, his wife and Cabinet Chief Alberto Fernandez.

Recent polls indicated that Kirchner would win re-election with more than 50 per cent of the vote, while Fernandez - though she scores 10 percentage points lower - would also win the presidential balloting by a wide margin.

Blunt, combative and accused of an authoritarian style, Kirchner has presided over strong economic growth after Argentina's brutal 1998-2002 slump, though he has also had to cope with a resurgence of inflation.

Fernandez's extensive high-profile foreign travel in recent months would appear to indicate that Kirchner and his political team were seeking to lay the groundwork for a presidential bid by the first lady.