Argentina government loses Senate power after senators exit coalition

February 23, 2023 01:28 PM AEDT | By Reuters
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BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina's ruling Peronist coalition was dealt a blow on Wednesday when four of its senators announced their departure, weakening the government's sway in the Senate just six months before high-stakes general elections.

Senators Edgardo Kueider, Guillermo Snopek, Carlos Espinola and Maria Eugenia Catalfamo said they would leave the center-left alliance that supports President Alberto Fernandez and his powerful vice president, Cristina Kirchner. The pair have struggled with party infighting and inflation near 100%.

"The current social, economic and political context that we are going through generates new realities and demands," the senators said in a statement, announcing they would form a new political bloc of their own.

The departures from Fernandez's coalition leave it with 31 seats in the 72-seat Senate.

Argentina will hold presidential and legislative elections in October.

The Peronists were badly beaten in 2021 congressional elections, which showed the conservative opposition well ahead in popular support.

Fernandez has said he wants to seek re-election.

A field of opposition candidates is emerging. Buenos Aires mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta would be one of them, Larreta's spokesperson said Wednesday.

(Reporting by Nicolás Misculin; Editing by Bradley Perrett)


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