Argentina's President Fernández won't seek reelection

President Alberto Fernndez announces that Argentina will default on its debt for the second time in less than two decades.

Argentina's President Fernández won't seek reelection

Alberto Fernandez, the Argentine president, waves to Congress as he arrives in Buenos Aires on March 1, 2023. Fernandez announced that he would not run for reelection at the October 2023 elections on April 21st, 2023.

Natacha Pisarenko/AP

BUENOS AIRES (Argentina) -- Argentina's president Alberto Fernandez said Friday that he will not seek reelection this year. The decision follows months of internal fighting within the ruling coalition, as it struggles with a fragile economic situation and galloping inflation.

In a video titled "My Decision," the center-left president made an unexpected announcement. He was under increasing pressure to not run for office from members of his coalition and polls showed a decline in approval ratings.

The decision shook the political landscape of Argentina months before August primaries or October's presidential elections.

During the seven-and-a-half-minute video, Fernandez never actually said he won't be running for president, but he made that intention clear by saying that on Dec. 10 he would be handing over the presidential sash to whoever is elected, adding that he will 'fervently work so that it is a partner from our political space.'

Fernandez said that he was aware of the fact that he had not achieved all aims during his tenure and he wants to refocus on solving the problems facing Argentines.

The internal disputes within the ruling coalition are now in the open. For months, allies of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's Vice President have called on Fernandez not to run for re-election so that they could better plan an electoral strategy before the primaries.

Fernandez's ratings have plummeted as Argentina is stuck in an economic rut for years. More than half of its children live in poverty, and the annual inflation rate has soared to more than 100%.

According to a survey conducted by Giacobbe & Asociados in March, seven out of ten Argentines view Fernandez negatively. According to the survey, only 10% of Argentines have a favorable opinion of Fernandez.

The decision of the president not to run for reelection follows a week that saw the local currency depreciate sharply on the financial markets, and the prices of sovereign bonds plummet.