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Argentina's Political System

Argentina is a democratic, presidential federal republic. The country got its first constitution in 1853; Today's constitution, which is largely based on the old one, dates from 1994. Argentina has been characterized by turmoil throughout much of its history, and with an exchange between civil and military rule. Following the notorious military regime 1976-83, Argentina has been ruled by elected leaders with a degree of stability according to Argentine conditions, with the exception of the year end 2001/02, when the country changed its president four times in less than two weeks during a deep economic crisis.. Civilian life has for many years been characterized by two parties, the populist-radical (but winged) justistic (peronist) party (PJ) and the moderate, the civil-radical union (UCR). In the 2007 elections, two women stood as presidential candidates for the Victory Front (Peronists) and the Civil Coalition respectively; former candidate Cristina Kirchner won and succeeded her husband as president.

Government and Politics of Argentina

The Legislature is a National Congress (Congreso de la Nación), consisting of a 256-member House of Representatives elected for four-year direct elections (half of the seats renewed every other year) and the Senate, which has 72 members elected by the provincial assemblies for six years (1/3 of the seats are renewed every two years). The voting age is 18 years. The executive is added to a president, elected in direct elections for four years, with the possibility of re-election once. The President appoints and heads the government, is a military commander, appoints (with Senate approval) Supreme Court judges, officials, ambassadors and bishops, and is thus the dominant figure in Argentine politics. The president must be Roman Catholic and born in the country.

Argentina is divided into 23 provinces and a federal district (Buenos Aires). Although the provinces elect legislative assemblies and governors, it is not uncommon for central government to intervene in provincial politics. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of AR and its meanings of Argentina.


The courts are in principle independent, but have been influenced by political pressure during periods of military rule. The Supreme Court, which oversees the other courts, is a nine-member Supreme Court. The members of both this and local courts have been appointed by the President, with the approval of the Senate. There is a federal appeals court with three departments. In addition, there are six other, specialized appeals courts in Buenos Aires, as well as federal appeals courts in eight other cities. The provinces have their own judicial system, with a supreme court in each province.

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