Carlos Menem

Carlos Menem

Menem con banda presidencial.jpg
Official presidential portrait, 1995
President of Argentina
In office
8 July 1989 – 10 December 1999
Vice President
Preceded byRaúl Alfonsín
Succeeded byFernando de la Rúa
National Senator
In office
10 December 2005 – 14 February 2021
Preceded byEduardo Menem
ConstituencyLa Rioja
President of the Justicialist Party
In office
28 November 2001 – 11 June 2003
Preceded byRubén Marín
Succeeded byEduardo Fellner
In office
10 August 1990 – 13 June 2001
Preceded byAntonio Cafiero
Succeeded byRubén Marín
Governor of La Rioja
In office
10 December 1983 – 8 July 1989
Vice GovernorAlberto Gregorio Cavero
Preceded byGuillermo Jorge Piastrellini (de facto)
Succeeded byAlberto Gregorio Cavero
In office
25 May 1973 – 24 March 1976
Vice GovernorLibardo Sánchez
Preceded byJulio Raúl Luchesi (de facto)
Succeeded byOsvaldo Héctor Pérez Battaglia (de facto)
Personal details
Carlos Saúl Menem

(1930-07-02)2 July 1930
Anillaco, La Rioja, Argentina
Died14 February 2021(2021-02-14) (aged 90)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Resting placeSan Justo Islamic Cemetery
Political partyJusticialist
Other political
  • Front for Loyalty (2003)
  • Justicialist Popular Unity Front (1989–1995)
(m. 1966; div. 1991)
(m. 2001; div. 2011)
Children4, including Zulemita
RelativesEduardo Menem (brother)

Carlos Saúl Menem (2 July 1930 – 14 February 2021) was an Argentine lawyer and politician who served as the 44th president of Argentina from 1989 to 1999. He was also a Senator for La Rioja Province from 2005 until his death. Ideologically, he identified as a Peronist and supported economically liberal policies. He served as President of the Justicialist Party for thirteen years (from 1990 to 2001 and again from 2001 to 2003), and his political approach became known as Menemism.

Born in Anillaco to a Syrian family, Menem was raised as a Muslim,[1] but later converted to Roman Catholicism to pursue a political career.[a] Menem became a Peronist during a visit to Buenos Aires. He led the party in his home province of La Rioja and was elected governor in 1973. He was deposed and detained during the 1976 Argentine coup d'état and was elected governor again in 1983. He defeated the Buenos Aires governor Antonio Cafiero in the primary elections for the 1989 presidential elections, which he won. Hyperinflation and riots forced outgoing president Raúl Alfonsín to resign early, shortening the presidential transition.

Menem supported the Washington Consensus and tackled inflation with the Convertibility plan in 1991. The plan was complemented by a series of privatizations and was a success. Argentina re-established diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom, suspended since the 1982 Falklands War, and developed special relations with the United States. The country suffered two terrorist attacks. The Peronist victory in the 1993 midterm elections allowed him to persuade Alfonsín (by then leader of the opposition party UCR) to sign the Pact of Olivos for the 1994 amendment of the Argentine Constitution. This amendment allowed Menem to run for re-election in 1995, which he won. A new economic crisis began, and the opposing parties formed a political coalition winning the 1997 midterm elections and the 1999 presidential election.

He was investigated on various criminal and corruption charges, including illegal arms trafficking, (he was sentenced to seven years in prison), embezzlement of public funds (he was sentenced four and half years to prison), extortion and bribery (in both he was declared innocent). His position as senator earned him immunity from incarceration.[2][3]

Menem ran for the presidency again in 2003, but faced with a likely defeat in a ballotage against Néstor Kirchner, he chose to pull out, effectively handing the presidency to Kirchner. He was elected senator for La Rioja in 2005. By the time of his death in 2021 at age 90, he was the oldest living former Argentine president.[4][failed verification]

  1. ^ "Carlos Menem" Encyclopædia Britannica
  2. ^ "Argentina: Ex-president gets 7 years in prison for arms smuggling". CNN. 13 June 2013.
  3. ^ "Americas | Menem probed over 1995 explosion". BBC News. 16 August 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
  4. ^ Bruschtein, Luis (14 February 2021). "Murió Carlos Menem". Página 12 (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 February 2021.

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