Connect to share and comment

The fall of the Kirchnerist empire?

The aftermath of the June 28 election, which dealt a blow to Argentina's ruling party.

But Fernandez de Kirchner might have been a little too optimistic. Immediately following her statement, several of the top opposition winners whom she'd been eyeing as allies came right out and denounced any possible cooperation.

The public was also unconvinced. In a very public display of defiance, someone hacked the Justicialist Party's website for much of the day after the elections. The page displayed only the message, “What's the matter Nestor — are you nervous? You reap what you sow,” and was signed, “The Republic.”

The owner of the email address displayed next to the signature — “” — said in an email interview that he or she waited to hack the page until after the election to be sure the act of protest would have the support of the Argentine people. Seeing the election counts, the hacker was convinced that it did.

After the initial theater, the real problems in the government started to show. Nestor Kirchner promptly resigned as chief of the ruling Justicialist Party, and named the governor of Buenos Aires province, Daniel Scioli, to be his successor.

He also instructed Scioli not to take the deputy seat to which he had been elected as a so-called “testimonial candidate” — a controversial tactic invented by Kirchner to attract votes. While it's illegal to hold multiple public offices at once, in the weeks before the election the Supreme Court was unable to find a law against a government officer running for and then declining to assume a new position. Some in the opposition, though, are still hoping to prosecute Scioli on the punishable grounds of having deceived voters.

Moreover, the congressional elections have precipitated shakeups all the way to the administration of the chief executive. The secretary of transportation, a symbol of the Kirchner's embattled rule, has already been let go, as has the minister of health. And at least two more secretaries said that they have offered resignations that were rejected by the president. While the president has assured the nation of the stability of her administration, her vice president, Julio Cobos, is clamoring for a cabinet overhaul.

With all the turnover, rumors of more on the horizon, and more opposition lawmakers entering Congress in December, it remains to be seen how the Kirchners will maintain their rule, or even whether they will at all.

Read more on Argentina:

Where are Argentina's coins?

At the top of Argentines' concerns: crime

African immigrants seek refuge in Argentina