Adolfo Rodríguez Saá

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Not to be confused with Adolfo Rodríguez Saá (elder).
Adolfo Rodríguez Saá
Adolfo Rodríguez Saá con banda presidencial.jpg
49th President of Argentina
In office
December 23, 2001 – December 30, 2001
Vice President Vacant
Preceded by Fernando De la Rúa
Succeeded by Eduardo Duhalde
National Senator of Argentina
Assumed office
December 10, 2005
Constituency San Luis
National Deputy of Argentina
In office
December 10, 2003 – December 9, 2005
Constituency San Luis
Governor of San Luis
In office
December 10, 1983 – December 22, 2001
Vice Governor Alicia Lemme
Preceded by Hugo di Rissio (de facto)
Succeeded by Alicia Lemme
Personal details
Born (1947-07-25) July 25, 1947 (age 68)
San Luis
Nationality Argentine
Political party Justicialist
Profession Lawyer

Adolfo Rodríguez Saá (born July 25, 1947) is an Argentine Peronist politician. He was the governor of the province of San Luis during several terms, and served as President of Argentina for a week.

Early Life[edit]

Rodríguez Saá was born to an important political family in San Luis. The Rodriguez Saá family is well known in the Province of San Luis and can be traced to the 19th century and to descendants of the federal caudillo Juan Saá, who fought in the battle of Pavón during the Argentine Civil War. His grandfather and namesake Adolfo Rodríguez Saá and his great-uncle were both governors of the province, and his father was the police chief. He graduated as a lawyer from the National University of Cuyo and the University of Buenos Aires, and became a provincial legislator in 1973, at the age of 25.

Rodríguez Saá was elected governor of San Luis for the Justicialist Party and stayed in office during five consecutive terms, from 1983 to 2001. He improved the finances of the province[citation needed] and obtained several awards.


President Fernando De la Rúa resigned after the riots of 2001. As his vice president Carlos Álvarez had resigned as well months before, Congress called for a special assembly to designate a new president. Adolfo Rodríguez Saá was elected by 169 votes to 138.[1] He was supported by the PJ and smaller right-wing parties such as Republican Force and Action for the Republic. On the other hand, the UCR and Alternative for a Republic of Equals voted against him. Thus, Rodríguez Saá became president. He was replaced in the governor's office by vice-governor María Alicia Lemme, and took office as on December 23, 2001.

He got a mandate of interim president, with instructions from the Assembly to call for elections the following March 3, with the run-off on March 17 if needed. The new president would complete De la Rúa's mandate. Those elections would be held with Ley de Lemas, and the victor would take government on April 5.[2]

During his short time in office, he announced the creation of a new currency, the argentino (not backed up by reserve currency but by the real estate properties of the nation), to remedy the shortage of cash caused by the economic crisis. The civil unrest of previous days resurfaced when he announced his cabinet, as it included Carlos Grosso as Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers. Grosso was a very unpopular former mayor of Buenos Aires.[3] As a result, Rodríguez Saá gave up his whole cabinet before they could take office, with the sole exception of Rodolfo Gabrielli, in the Interior Ministry. He also declared a default on the Argentine national debt, which was celebrated by the chamber of deputies.

He prepared a budget bill for 2002, which would be sent to the Congress. I included an important decrease in the deficits, as requested by Anne Krueger from the IMF.[4] He called for a meeting with governors in Chapadmalal, but only six governors attended it: Carlos Ruckauf, Juan Carlos Romero, Gildo Insfrán, Ángel Mazza, Carlos Rovira and Alicia Lemme. On December 30, he returned to San Luis with Daniel Scioli and resigned, alleging lack of support from the rest of the Justicialist Party. In his last speech, he recounted the achievements of his one-week administration and accused Justicialist governors and legislators of meanness and shortsightedness.[citation needed] He dispatched his resignation from San Luis to Buenos Aires, and the Congress accepted it on January 1, 2002. After new deliberations, they elected Eduardo Duhalde as president, this time with a mandate that would fill the remaining time of De la Rúa's mandate.

His brother was a candidate in the 2011 Presidential Elections for the Frente Compromiso Federal party, with a national program intended to replicate the "San Luis" model nationwide. The province of San Luis was voted the best-managed in the country by private consultants for the seventh consecutive year, in Tax Efficiency Policy, Social indicators, Infrastructure, Fiscal Solvency and International Trade. San Luis intended to create a "silicon valley", and came fourth in a ranking of 150 'digital cities' by Motorola.


After the end of Eduardo Duhalde's term, Rodríguez Saá ran for president in the April 2003 elections. Those elections allowed the Lemas law, and the PJ did not provide an official candidate. Each precandidate was allowed instead to run for presidency on his own "lema", and Rodríguez Saá did so. The other candidates of the PJ were Néstor Kirchner and Carlos Menem. Rodríguez Saá came in fourth, with 14.1% of the vote, after both of them and Ricardo López Murphy.

During the first years of Néstor Kirchner's rule, Adolfo Rodríguez Saá joined Menem and his brother Alberto (by then, the new governor of San Luis) to create an alternative political group against Kirchner within the PJ. He was elected Senator for San Luis for this group at the 2005 election. He has been a senator since then.

Personal life[edit]

Rodríguez Saá had five children with his first wife and one with his second one. His brother, Alberto Rodríguez Saá, was governor of San Luis from 2003 to 2011. The Saá family of Argentina and Chile are originally Arab Christians from Ramallah, Palestine. Many fellow Saá family members live in the United States and most spell their family name as "Saah" rather than Saá, however both spellings are used widely in the Americas as well as in Palestine.

He has worked as a cattle rancher in San Luis since his defeat in the 2003 elections.[5]



  1. ^ Mendelevich, p. 266
  2. ^ Mendelevich, p. 267
  3. ^ Mendelevich, p. 268
  4. ^ Reato, p. 17
  5. ^ Reato, p. 27

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Fernando De la Rúa
President of Argentina
Succeeded by
Eduardo Duhalde
Preceded by
Hugo di Rissio (de facto)
Governor of San Luis
Succeeded by
Alicia Lemme