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Fernando de la Rua

Fernando de la Rua is an Argentine politician. He was president of the country from December 10, 1999 to December 21, 2001 for the Alliance for Work, Justice and Education (a political alliance of the Radical Civic Union and Frepaso).


Born in the city of Cordoba, he attended the local Military Lyceum before entering the National University of Cordoba, from which he obtained his law degree. De la Rua became involved in politics at a young age. He first appeared in the political arena during the 1973 elections, when he was elected to the Senate, representing the city of Buenos Aires. A few months later he ran for the Vice Presidency along with veteran politician Ricardo Balbin on the Radical Civic Union (UCR) ticket. His youth (running for Vice President at the age of 36) earned him the still-standing nickname of "Chupete" ('Pacifier' or 'Dummy'), as he was perceived as a "baby" in politics.

After the democratic restoration in 1983 de la Rua was elected to the Chamber of Deputies and once again ran for the Senate in 1989. He actually won the popular vote, but was outmanoeuvered in the Electoral College by the alliance between the Justicialist Party and the Ucede.

Elected to the lower house by his constituents in the city of Buenos Aires in 1991 and at last, to the Senate in 1992, de la Rua became increasingly thought of as presidential timber in the press, generally.Noticias, September 6, 1991. Benefiting from his high standing in the polls and the amendments to the Constitution that gave Buenos Aires the right to elect its own mayor, de la Rua became the first elected mayor of Buenos Aires on August 6, 1996.

Quick to tackle chronic property tax evasion in his city, de la Rua earned a reputation for efficiency as his city's mayor. This, as well as the nation's mounting social and economic problems, helped carry de la Rua to victory in the October 24, 1999, presidential election. Handily defeating Buenos Aires Governor Eduardo Duhalde (a man saddled by his ties to the unpopular president), Fernando de la Rua was inaugurated President of Argentina on December 10, 1999.

De la Rua's government was characterized by an ongoing economic crisis, continuous fights and rivalries between the coalition partners, cabinet crises, a general sensation of inaction and a failure to tackle corruption. One of his last acts in office was to ban extraditions for human rights violations. His lack of charisma and his slow demeanor (perceived as stupor) hurt his public image.

Facing mounting pressure and 18% approval ratings, de la Rua on March 19, 2001, reached out to Domingo Cavallo, the economist behind the "Argentine miracle" during the early 1990s. Cavallo's appointment was, however, interpreted as an act of desperation by the derivatives markets and a massive shorting of Argentine bonds ensued, followed by at least US$40 billion in domestic capital flight.

De la Rua was finally forced out of office by the popular demonstrations in the midst of the December 2001 riots, the financial crisis, and the growing popular unrest, which took form under the rallying cry of the Argentine people: que se vayan todos! ("away with them all!") – referring to the governing class.

De la Rua is father of entrepreneur Antonio de la Rua who is engaged to Latina superstar Shakira.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Fernando de la Rua

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