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Argentineans protest against Kirchner

14 September 2012, 12:34

Buenos Aires - Thousands have taken to the streets in Argentina to protest against an initiative to change the constitution to allow President Cristina Kirchner to run for a third term in three years.

Protesters in front of the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires banged pots and pans together - a symbolic reference to the country's 2001 economic crisis - and held signs proclaiming "No to re-election" late on Thursday.

The demonstrators also protested against draconian measures taken in recent months to limit the purchase of foreign currency. Similar protests were held in the cities of Rosario, Cordoba and Mendoza.

Argentina has implemented drastic measures to control foreign exchange since the end of 2011, in a bid to preserve its monetary reserves slated to repay the country's debt.

Argentina's reserves shrank nearly $6bn to $46.6bn in a matter of months, prompting Kirchner's government to slap tight controls on the currency market by limiting dollar purchases.

A movement of pro-government intellectuals calling itself Carta Abierta (Open Letter) has launched an initiative to allow Kirchner to seek a new term in three years. She has not commented on the matter.

Kirchner was elected in 2007 and won re-election last year with 54% of the vote, but the Argentine constitution sets a two-term limit.

The government holds a majority in Congress, but does not have the two-thirds majority necessary to change the constitution.

Argentina will hold mid-term elections in October 2013.



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