Alicia Margarita Kirchner de Mercado is an Argentine Justicialist Party politician. She is the sister of former President Nestor Kirchner and served in his government as Minister of Social Development, a role which she continues to hold under new President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, her sister-in-law.
Kirchner worked as a teacher and social worker, holding a PhD in social work. In 1975 and again in 1983 she served as a sub-secretary of social action in her native Santa Cruz Province. From 1987 to 1990 she was a minister in the municipality of Rio Gallegos, leading on public health, education, culture, social action, recreation and sport. For a few months in 1990, and again between 1991 and 1995 she served as provincial minister for social affairs, under her brother who had been elected governor of Santa Cruz.
She resigned in 1995 to stand for Mayor of Rio Gallegos but lost and worked in the Argentine Senate advising on education and family matters, returning to her ministerial position between 1997 and 2003.
In May 2003 Nestor Kirchner became President and appointed his sister to his cabinet in a similar position she had held under him at provincial level.
In December 2005, Kirchner was elected to the Argentine Senate as senator for Santa Cruz Province for the Front for Victory faction, replacing her sister-in-law Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner who stood in Buenos Aires Province. From her senate seat in a few months she steered two important social development matters through the Senate and was widely seen as still holding great influence in the ministry. [*] However in August 2006 she returned to her former position in the cabinet replacing Juan Carlos Nadalich, leaving her senate seat vacant during a leave of absence.
Kirchner was touted as a likely Front for Victory candidate to be governor of Santa Cruz in the 2007 elections, with fellow minister Julio de Vido as the other possible candidate mentioned. [*] President Kirchner's re-appointment of his sister to his cabinet was seen in some quarters as an initial show of support for her as candidate. [*] Ultimately, however, Kirchner remained a minister following the 2007 elections (and Daniel Peralta became governor of Santa Cruz).
Senate profile, accessed 2006-08-24
Ministry press release on re-appointment, accessed 2006-08-24
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Alicia Kirchner