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Saenz Pena Law

The Saenz Pena Law was Law 8871 of Argentina, sanctioned by the National Congress on February 10 1912, which established the universal, secret and obligatory male suffrage though the creation of an electoral list (Padron Electoral). It was approved during the presidency of Roque Saenz Pena, main supporter of the law.
The right to vote for females was not covered by this law; it was only granted to them in 1947, during the first presidency of Juan Peron. The "universal" scope of the law included only native and naturalized men, therefore excluding not only women, but many working class males who were immigrants.
The original law is currently still in force, but it has been amended to allow women to vote.
Saenz Pena made his intentions about the voting system public during his first speech before the National Congress, in 1910. Interior Minister Indalecio Gomez projected a reform which left the compilation of the electoral list in the hands of the War Ministry (males over 18 were recorded when called for conscription), while the Judicial Branch was put in charge of dictating who would organize the elections and who would be allowed to vote. This deprived the Executive Branch of its former ability to write and manipulate the electoral list.
The conservative sectors, which had stayed in power for decades through dubious and fraudulent elections, could not consolidate a political party without popular support. Hipolito Yrigoyen, the candidate of the Radical Civic Union won the first presidential elections that followed the new law by a considerable advantage, and the UCR became the most powerful political force.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Saenz Pena Law
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