South America’s Rousseff, Kirchner in Hot Water
By Luis Sosa
Presidents Dilma Rousseff and Fernandez de Kirchner face controversy yet again under the international spotlight. Last year, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff added another political achievement to her list after being re-elected for a second term in office. By the same token, Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has done relatively well in her strive to remain in power.
However, there is something about these women that keeps their names on the headlines. Most recently, Brazilian discontent with Rousseff’s management and corruption scandal in relation to the country’s economic assets, namely Petrobras, has led many to demand her impeachment. According to a poll by MDA Pesquisa, featured in a Forbes article by Kenneth Rapoza, 59.7 percent of Brazilians think Rousseff should be impeached. In the same article, Rapoza outlines several reasons why he believes Rousseff’s impeachment would only hurt Brazil.
Rapoza states that if Rouseff left office, her absence would leave Brazil without the leadership it needs to wade through the economic shortcomings it has faced recently. In addition, he mentions that it would also create political instability, as the Workers’ Party (PT) would pull back if its leader was removed from office. This would exacerbate the already heated partisan rivalry with the Social Democratic Party (PSDB).
Likewise, as reported by the Guardian, Fernandez de Kirchner faces new controversy after being accused of providing shelter for an Iranian group that was responsible for the bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994. Considering the attacks Fernandez de Kirchner has responded to throughout most of her political career, this could be another move by the opposition to deter her already shaky reputation.
However, in spite of these controversies, both Rousseff and Fernandez de Kirchner have managed to remain in power as a result of their strong leadership. Both of them have proven tough skinned women and put to sleep the myth that women cannot rule. Many may criticize the effectiveness of their regimes, but most would agree that their presence in international politics has reshaped the perception of women in the international arena; one of their most important contributions to world politics.
Contact Luis at email@example.com.