Eduardo Duhalde

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Eduardo Duhalde
President of Argentina
In office
January 2, 2002 – May 25, 2003
Preceded by Adolfo Rodríguez Saá
Succeeded by Néstor Kirchner
30th Vice-President of Argentina
In office
July 8, 1989 – December 10, 1991
President Carlos Menem
Preceded by Víctor Hipolito Martínez
Succeeded by Carlos Ruckauf
Governor of Buenos Aires Province
In office
December 10, 1991 – December 10, 1999
Preceded by Antonio Cafiero
Succeeded by Carlos Ruckauf
Personal details
Born (1941-10-05) October 5, 1941 (age 74)
Lomas de Zamora, Greater Buenos Aires
Nationality Argentine
Political party Justicialist
Spouse(s) Hilda Beatriz González de Duhalde
Profession Lawyer

Eduardo Alberto Duhalde (Spanish pronunciation: [eˈðwardo alˈβerto ˈðwalde]; born October 5, 1941) is an Argentine politician, lawyer and professor of public law, who also was President of Argentina from 2002 to 2003.

Early life[edit]

Duhalde was born in Lomas de Zamora, in the Greater Buenos Aires. He graduated as a lawyer in 1970. He is elected to the legislature of the city the next year, and presides it. He affiliated to the Justicialist party, and soon leads the local branch. He became mayor of Lomas de Zamora in 1973, but he was removed three years later during the National Reorganization Process military coup. Democratic rule was restored in 1983, and Duhalde was elected intendent once more. Duhalde told in 2010 at the Noticias magazine that a coronel sought his support for a possible coup against the newly elected president Raúl Alfonsín, which Duhalde would have denied and reported directly to Alfonsín himself. He was elected mayor again, and then national deputy in 1987.

Vice presidency and governor[edit]

Carlos Menem, governor of La Rioja, won the 1989 primary elections against Antonio Cafiero, with Duhalde as his candidate for the vice presidency. The Menem-Duhalde couple wins the 1989 presidential elections. He resigned in 1991, to run for governor of the Buenos Aires province, which he won. He intended to run for the presidency in 1995, but the 1994 amendment allowed Menem to run for the re-election. Duhalde sought then an amendment of the provincial constitution, to allow reelection as well. Both Menem and Duhalde were re-elected as president and governor in 1995.

1999 elections[edit]

He ran for president in 1999, after a failed attempt by Carlos Menem to run for a third term, but he was defeated by Fernando de la Rúa. Duhalde came in second place with 37% of the vote. De la Rúa's government would face an economic crisis and the 2001 riots, resigning two years later. De la Rúa considered that Duhalde organized a coup d'état against him[1] Rodolfo Terragno, De la Rúa's Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers, thought instead that the crisis was the exclusive result of keeping the peso-dollar parity despite of the costs generated by it.[2]


After de la Rúa's resignation, due to the economic crisis and the December 2001 riots, Duhalde was appointed President of Argentina by the Legislative Assembly on January 2, 2002.

Depositors protest the freezing of their accounts, February 2002. Pres. Duhalde had the freeze lifted in December.

Initially to serve for a few months, until the chaotic situation of the country could be controlled, Duhalde stayed in office during more than one year. During this time, he confirmed the default of most of the Argentine public debt, and ended peg of the Argentine peso to the U.S. dollar. The latter measure triggered inflation, but at the same time helped pave the way to the substitution of imports (which could hardly be afforded with a more expensive dollar), and hence the renewed growth of national industry. The reduction of national industry effected during the 1990s (consequence of the affordability of imports made possible by the artificially low foreign currency exchange), combined with the austere economic policies put into place in the late 1990s and early 2000s in order to service the foreign debt and satisfy foreign creditors, had resulted by 2003 in a poverty rate of slightly over 50%. However, massive discontent followed the "forced pesification" of the dollar deposits at an exchange rate of 1.40 pesos, after Duhalde had said that people who had deposited dollars would receive dollars, in what is now a famous reference in Argentine political culture. Duhalde managed to stabilize the turmoil and, under some political pressure, called for elections six months ahead of schedule.

Carlos Menem, former president, wanted to run for the presidency in the 2003 election, and Duhalde wanted to prevent him from being president again. For this purpose, he sought other candidates that may defeat Menem. Some of these potential candidates were Carlos Reutemann, José Manuel de la Sota, Mauricio Macri, Adolfo Rodríguez Saá, Felipe Solá and Roberto Lavagna, but none of those negotiations bore fruit. Finally, he chose Néstor Kirchner, governor of Santa Cruz Province, who was mostly unknown by the public. To harm Menem chances even further, the 2003 election used a variant of the Ley de Lemas for a single time. This way, Menem and Kirchner (and Rodríguez Saá, uninvolved with them) did not run for primary elections, but faced each other directly in the open election. None of the three candidates ran for the Justicialist Party, but for special parties created for the occasion. Menem defeated Kirchner in the elections, benefited by the lack of popular candidates, but gave up running for a ballotage, fearing that he may lose this special election.[3]

Later years[edit]

Duhalde during the 2011 campaign

Duhalde was succeeded by Néstor Kirchner on May 25, 2003. After a while, however, Kirchner became increasingly distanced from Duhalde. Duhalde's wife, Hilda Chiche Duhalde, ran a heated campaign for the National Senate representing Buenos Aires, against Kirchner's wife, Cristina Kirchner, for the October 23, 2005 legislative elections.

Duhalde announced on December 23, 2009, his intention to run again for the Presidency.[4] For this end, he organized Federal Peronism, with members of the Justicialist party opposing Néstor Kirchner. Although the president was Cristina Fernández de Kirchner at that point, Néstor Kirchner remained a highly influential figure in Argentine politics; Kirchner died in October 2010.

Duhalde confirmed his strength among centrist and conservative Peronists as the 2011 campaign unfolded by narrowly defeating Rodríguez Saá in a Buenos Aires Federal Peronist primary in May, though both men remained front-runners for their party's nomination in August.[5] He adopted the Unión Popular ticket, a historic neo-Peronist movement which never ran as such in a presidential race, and formally announced his candidacy for the presidency on June 9, choosing Chubut Governor Mario Das Neves as his running mate.[6] [7]



  1. ^ "Duhalde constantly said that we should change the president; something he did with me and repeated with Adolfo Rodríguez Saá, victim of the second civil coup." (De la Rúa) - Mendelevich, p. 255
  2. ^ "It is easier to believe that Duhalde plotted against De la Rúa, something false, than understanding that De la Rúa dug his own grave by keeping that economic policy" (Terragno) - Mendelevich, p. 254
  3. ^ Fraga, p. 19-21
  4. ^ "Duhalde confirmó que será candidato a presidente en 2011". Clarín. 2009-12-23. Retrieved February 26, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Duhalde beats Rodríguez Saá in dissident PJ primaries by narrow margin". Buenos Aires Herald. 
  6. ^ "Eduardo Duhalde officially launches presidential campaign". Buenos Aires Herald. 
  7. ^ "Duhalde ahora será candidato por Unión Popular". ADN Mundo. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Víctor Martínez
Vice President of Argentina
Succeeded by
Carlos Ruckauf
Preceded by
Antonio Cafiero
Governor of Buenos Aires Province
Succeeded by
Carlos Ruckauf
Preceded by
Adolfo Rodríguez Saá
President of Argentina
Succeeded by
Néstor Kirchner