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Amadeo Sabattini

Amadeo Tomas Sabattini was an Argentine politician. He served as Governor of Cordoba from May 17, 1936 to May 17, 1940.

The son of Italian immigrants from the Piedmont region, Sabattini enrolled at the National University of Cordoba and graduated with a Medical Degree in 1919, becoming affiliated to the centrist Radical Civic Union (UCR) - the party in power in Argentina at the time. A staunch opponent of the 1930 coup d'etat that unseated populist UCR President Hipolito Yrigoyen, Sabattini went underground and participated in numerous potests, some violent, before an agreement between Conservative President Agustin Justo and the leader of the UCR, former President Marcelo Torcuato de Alvear, resulted in the lifting of a UCR electoral boycott in effect since the fraud-ridden 1931 elections. In this framework, Sabattini was elected Governor of the important Province of Cordoba in 1936.

A supporter of much of President Yrigoyen's 1916 platform, including liberalization of the universities and the establishment of State enterprises, Sabattini initiated several hydroelectric dams and supported the creation of numerous industrial zones in his then-agrarian province. He extended assistance to his province's needy and to small business, while prosecuting hitherto rampant graft and limiting the Catholic Church's input in school curricula, earning him the enmity of that influential institution.

The Governor retired to his modest home in Villa Maria and in 1940, though he was inelegible for reelection per the provincial constitution, his UCR was returned to power that year, electing Governor Santiago del Castillo. Sabattini's electoral and judicial reforms, as well as Cordoba Province conservatives' unwillingness to participate in the prevailing system of "patriotic fraud," prevented the nation's ruling party (the Concordance) from seizing the Governorship.

Sabattini became a supporter of many of the social reforms advanced by Labor Minister Juan Peron, following a coup d'etat against the conservatives in 1943. Peron offered Sabattini the Vice-Presidential slot on his Labor Party ticket, ahead of the February 1946 elections. The popular Cordoba lawmaker declined, instead creating a "Intransigent and Renewal Movement" and thereby becoming the most prominent UCR politician in support of the populist Peron. He alliance with the President had soured by 1952, however, after the increasingly autocratic Peron's seizure of a number of critical newspapers and his detention of prominent opponents. Following a violent 1955 coup d'etat against Peron, Sabattini allied himself with the moderately conservative Ricardo Balbin, whose mainstream UCR (the UCR-P) was defeated by the splinter UCRI's Arturo Frondizi when the exiled Peron endorsed him ahead of the February 1958 elections.

Living in solitude and nearly penniless, Sabattini passed away in 1960, at the age of 67.

External links

Sabattini web page by Matias Bailone

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