Former Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner stands trial for corruption

Former Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner stands trial for corruption

Former Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will face the country’s Supreme Court today over a host of corruption charges,

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Photo: Reuters

Former Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will face the country’s Supreme Court today over a host of corruption charges, including laundering of public funds and accepting bribes.

Ms Fernandez was indicted on corruption charges last year but, as a sitting senator, enjoys parliamentary immunity that protects her from arrest but not prosecution. Her immunity status can only be lifted by approval of two-thirds of Argentina’s Senate—a very unlikely scenario—so imprisonment should not be expected, even if Ms Fernandez is found guilty of the charges.

Today’s trial comes just days after a shock announcement that Ms Fernandez will run for vice-president in October 27 elections; many believed she would run for the top job and polls had her slightly ahead of incumbent President Mauricio Macri. Instead, she will run on the same ticket as her former chief of staff Alberto Fernandez.

The move is a clever ploy, as Ms Fernandez remains a highly polarising figure in Argentina. Indeed, Mr Macri was likely banking on a second-round run-off vote that pitted himself against the controversial former president, where he could appeal to middle-ground voters. Instead, by running for vice president, Ms Fernandez and her left-wing Peronist allies can still capitalise on her considerable popularity without alienating as many voters.

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