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The Justicialist Party ( , PJ) is a Peronist political party in Argentinamarker, and the largest component of the Peronist movement.It is led by Daniel Scioli. The current president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and former presidents Carlos Menem and Eduardo Duhalde are members. In the Argentine Chamber of Deputies it is the single largest party, with 116 of 257 members, and it also has a majority of seats in the Argentine Senate.

The Justicialist Party was founded in 1947 by Juan and Evita Perón. It was banned from elections between 1955, when the Revolución Libertadora overthrew Perón, and 1973, when Perón returned to Argentina from his exile in Spain.

Basing itself on the policies espoused by Juan Perón as president of Argentina, the party can only be described as Corporativist to a certain degree. During Perón's third presidency and after his death, the PJ had a place both for leftist armed organizations like Montoneros and far-right members like José López Rega, founder of the Argentine Anti-Communist Alliance.

In the first democratic elections after the end of the dictatorship of the National Reorganization Process, in 1983, the Justicialist Party lost to the Radical Civic Union (UCR). Six years later, it returned to power with Carlos Menem, during whose term the Constitution was reformed to allow for presidential reelection. Menem (1989–1999) adopted neoliberal right-wing policies which changed the overall image of the party. The PJ was defeated by a coalition formed by the UCR and the centre-left FrePaSo (itself a left-wing offshoot of the PJ) in 1999, but regained political weight in the 2001 legislative elections, and was ultimately left in charge of managing the selection of an interim president after the collapse of December 2001. Justicialist Eduardo Duhalde, chosen by Congress, ruled during 2002 and part of 2003.

The 2003 elections saw the constituency of the party split in three, as Carlos Menem, Néstor Kirchner (backed by Duhalde) and Adolfo Rodríguez Saá ran for the presidency leading different party coalitions. After Kirchner's victory, the party started to align behind his leadership, moving slightly to the left.

The Justicialist Party effectively broke apart in the 2005 legislative elections when two factions ran for a Senate seat in Buenos Aires Provincemarker: Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (then the first lady) and Hilda González de Duhalde (wife of former president Duhalde). The campaign was particularly vicious. Kirchner's side allied with other minor forces and presented itself as a heterodox, left-leaning Front for Victory, while Duhalde's side stuck to older Peronist tradition. González de Duhalde's defeat to her opponent marked, according to many political analysts, the end to Duhalde's dominance over the province, and was followed by a steady defection of his supporters to the winner's side. In 2008 former president Néstor Kirchner has proposed the entry of the party in Socialist International.

References

  1. Justicialist Party — Official website.
  2. BBC News. 2 January 2002. Argentina's new president sworn in.
  3. BBC News. 26 May 2003. Argentina hopes for new beginning.
  4. The Economist. 12 April 2006. Latin America - The return of populism.



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