NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former Argentine President Nestor Kirchner, the president’s husband and predecessor, died on Wednesday, his doctor said.
Kirchner, who was expected to run as president in 2011, had undergone two arterial procedures earlier this year.
“This definitely changes the political landscape in Argentina dramatically. Bonds have been rallying off this news as an immediate reaction but I don’t think this necessarily clinches it for an opposition president in Argentina.
“Certainly it could create sympathy toward Cristina Kirchner and could potentially provide a political benefit to her. Obviously, it’s a tragic thing when someone’s husband dies.
“Looking forward to 2011 elections, it definitely changes the landscape but we were not even sure that Nestor Kirchner would be the candidate. Even though Nestor had been viewed as the orchestrator of this government, she has been present for several years and now could be the candidate next year. That’s my immediate reaction and it’s hard to say what the ramifications are.”
“In terms of the impact, in the near-term it will increase the political uncertainty with regard to the positioning within the Kirchner-wing of the Peronist Party, obviously with an eye on presidential elections next year.”
“The question is whether Cristina Fernandez will now choose to stand or offer another candidate the chance.
“We expected the Kirchner’s to lose the elections next year, notwithstanding the events, they have suffered a trend decline in support.
“There has been a rebound in their popularity because of stronger economic growth but likely not enough to help them win the election.
“Now, it may be harder to win the election because he was such an iconic figure within the movement. It increases the chances of a more market friendly government coming to power which would be seen by the market as positive for Argentine assets.”
NICK CHAMIE, GLOBAL HEAD OF EMERGING MARKETS RESEARCH AT RBC CAPITAL MARKETS:
“It’s sad news but we view it as generally positive for Argentine asset prices. The loss of Mr Kirchner is of course quite detrimental to Mrs Kirchner’s power base as he was maybe the largest power broker in the country.
“Given that we have the elections next year, I think people will start to raise expectations that someone more market friendly from the opposition will have better odds. There’s one off-setting factor — Mrs Kirchner will ensure that her husband is idealized maybe for many weeks and months to come and traditionally in Argentina this has been a very strong factor. That might have an impact in the short term but largely that won’t negate the broader trend of a dwindling power base for the president.”