Cristina Elisabet Fernández de Kirchner (Spanish pronunciation: [kɾisˈtina elisaˈβet ferˈnandez ðe ˈkiɾʃneɾ] (listen); born 19 February 1953), sometimes referred to by her initials CFK, is an Argentine politician who is the current Vice President of Argentina since 10 December 2019. She also previously served as the President of Argentina from 2007 to 2015, as well as the First Lady during her husband, Néstor Kirchner’s tenure.
Fernández de Kirchner is the second woman to hold the Argentine presidency, the first directly elected female president, and the first woman re-elected to the office. Ideologically a Peronist, she was a member of the Justicialist Party, with her political approach being characterised as Kirchnerism.
Born in La Plata, Buenos Aires Province, she studied law at the University of La Plata, and moved to Patagonia with her husband Néstor Kirchner upon graduation. She was elected to the provincial legislature; her husband was elected mayor of Río Gallegos. She was elected national senator in 1995, and had a controversial tenure, while her husband was elected governor of Santa Cruz Province. In 1994, she was also elected to the constituent assembly that amended the Constitution of Argentina. She was the First Lady from 2003 to 2007 after Néstor Kirchner was elected president.
Néstor Kirchner did not run for reelection. Instead, she was the candidate for the Front for Victory party, becoming president in the 2007 presidential election. Her first term of office started with a conflict with the agricultural sector, and her proposed taxation system was rejected. After this she nationalized private pension funds, and fired the president of the Central Bank. The price of public services remained subsidised, the country lost its self-supply of energy, and she renationalized energy firm YPF as a result.
Her government implemented measures such as the application of universal allocation per child, the re-nationalization of pension funds, the Conectar Igualdad program, the increase in the budget for science and research, a new media law and the broadening of LGBT rights, including same-sex marriage and the Gender Identity Law. According to the World Bank, the middle class doubled in Argentina during her term. She also carried out policies in pursuit of human rights, such as the trials of military personnel involved in the Dirty War. There have been more than 500 people sentenced, and 1,000 convicted, in a process that was unprecedented in Latin America.Several corruption scandals took place and she faced several demonstrations against her rule. She was charged for low price sales of dollar futures and was indicted for obstructing the investigation into the 1994 AMIA Bombing. In 2018, she was also indicted for corruption on charges alleging that her administration had accepted bribes in exchange for public works contracts.