Monday, January 16, 2012

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

Cristina Elisabet Fernández de Kirchner (born 19 February 1953), commonly known as Cristina Fernández or Cristina Kirchner is the 55th and current President of Argentina and the widow of former President Néstor Kirchner. She is Argentina's first elected female president, and the second female president ever to serve (after Isabel Martínez de Perón, 1974–1976). A Justicialist, Fernández served one term as National Deputy and three terms as National Senator for both Santa Cruz and Buenos Aires provinces.

A native of La Plata, Buenos Aires, Fernández is a graduate of the National University of La Plata. She met her husband during her studies, and they moved to Santa Cruz to work as lawyers. In May 1991, she was elected to the provincial legislature. Between 1995 and 2007, she was repeatedly elected to the Argentine National Congress, both as a National Deputy and National Senator. During Kirchner's presidency (2003–2007) she acted as First Lady. Fernández was chosen as the Front for Victory presidential candidate in 2007.

In the October 2007 general election she obtained 45.3% of the vote and a 22% lead over her nearest rival, avoiding the need for a runoff. She was inaugurated on 10 December 2007, and was reelected to a second term in the first round of the October 2011 general election, with 54,1% and 37,3% over the second candidate. As a First Lady, and later President, she has become a fashion icon for women and a notable advocate for human rights, poverty awareness and health improvement.

Personal Life
Fernández was born in Ringuelet, a suburb west of La Plata, Province of Buenos Aires, daughter of Eduardo Fernández (of Spanish heritage) and Ofelia Esther Wilhelm (of German descent). She studied law at the National University of La Plata during the 1970s and became active in the Peronist Youth. During her studies there, she met her future spouse, Néstor Kirchner. They were married on 9 May 1975, and had two children: Máximo and Florencia. Néstor Kirchner died on 27 October 2010 after suffering a heart attack. On 27 December 2011, presidential spokesman Alfredo Scoccimarro announced that Fernández de Kirchner had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer on 22 December and was announced that she would undergo surgery on 4 January 2012. However, it was later stated that she was misdiagnosed, and does not have cancer.

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