Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is a senator representing the Frente Para la Victoria (FV) party for the province of Buenos Aires, the largest electoral district in Argentina, and the First Lady of Argentina.
|Kirchner is favorite to win the |
October 28 general election [EPA]
With more than 30 years in Argentine politics, Kirchner, 54, was officially confirmed as the ruling FV party's candidate for Argentina's presidency, contested on October 28.
Noted for her attention to style and dress - leading the Argentinian press to critise her as a fashionista - and for neglecting to speak to the domestic media about her policies, particularly in the run up to the election, public opinion polls still show Kirchner to be Argentina's most popular candidate for the presidency.
Kirchner studied law at the school of legal and social sciences of the University of La Plata in the 1970s, where she met her husband and current president of Argentina, Nestor Kirchner.
Cristina started her political career in a faction of the Justicialist party, Tendencia Revolucionaria, a left-leaning movement in the 1970s.
Kirchner was then elected deputy to the provincial legislature of Santa Cruz in 1989, and subsequently re-elected in 1993.
In 1995 she was elected to represent Santa Cruz in the Argentinian senate; in 1997, to the chamber of deputies; and in 2001 she won a seat in the senate.
In 2005, as the main FV candidate for senator in the province of Buenos Aires, Fernández won the election by a 25-per-cent margin.
As First Lady, Cristina's stern speeches have recalled the style of Eva Perón, the powerful, popular and firm-worded second wife of former Argentine President Juan Domingo Perón in the 1940s.
Evita, as she is universally known, died in 1952 aged just 33, but left a permanent mark on Argentinian society as a champion of women and the poor even though she never actually held office.
While Kirchner could be Argentina's first elected female president, she has deflected talk of herself as a modern-day Evita. But her campaign has shown flattering analogies with the iconic figure.
At one rally in the provincial town of Santa Fé, a video reel of Kirchner was preceded by a black-and-white montage of Evita and Juan Domingo. The comparisons are evident.
The Argentinian media has labelled Kirchner "Queen Cristina," comparing the October election in which she will follow her husband as the presidential candidate for the FV party, with a monarchy succesion.
In the words of her official biographer, Olga Wornat, Cristina Kirchner is "very charismatic, very well read, but very explosive with a strong character".
How she would fair as an Argentian president remains to be seen, given her silence on the majority of issues. However, the majority of Argentinians think Cristina would continue in the style of her husband, Nestor, effectively creating Argentina's first political dynasty.