The elections of 1983 saw the victory of the radical candidate R. Alfonsín, who had led a campaign centered on the need to prosecute the military responsible for the various dictatorships. Thus, in 1985 trials were opened against 8 members of the juntas in power from 1976 to 1983, but the uprisings of the Armed Forces (1987) imposed a more conciliatory address on the government which, in May 1987, with the ley de obediencia debida, exonerated in fact, the middle cadres of the army. The austerity policy (Plan Austral of 1985), decided by the government to cope with economic difficulties and strongly opposed by the CGT, sparked a new wave of protests, causing a collapse in support for the radicals and the victory of the Peronist candidate C. Menem, leader of the Partido justicialista(PJ), in the presidential elections of 1989. Menem continued the austerity policy, launched a privatization plan, imposed further conciliatory measures against the armed forces, allowing the release of numerous senior officers, including Videla and Viola. The economic policy, of a liberal imprint, allowed the renewed granting of international loans (blocked in 1989 by the International Monetary Fund) and favored the massive inflow of foreign capital in a country now completely open to the market economy. Thanks to the support of the USA, the Argentina it also gained its own role in the ‘new world order’ that emerged with the end of bipolarism and in March 1991 signed the Asunción treaty with Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay for the creation of MERCOSUR. Menem’s successes in the financial field pushed him towards a constitutional reform to remove provisions that prohibited the re-election of the president. Elected a Constituent Assembly and approved the new fundamental text (1994), Menem was confirmed with 49.9% of the votes (1995).
According to agooddir, the turning point occurred with the presidential elections of 24 October 1999, won by the moderate leader of the Radical Party F. de la Rúa who presented himself on a program focused on the fight against corruption and unemployment, on limiting the profits of large private monopolies, on the revival of the economy. New measures, launched in 2001 to avoid insolvency in the payment of foreign debt, which included, among other things, the cutting of pensions and salaries of the public service and the blocking of bank deposits, provoked a real social revolt, the resignation de la Rúa and a very serious political crisis. After a period of uncertainty, in January 2002 the presidency of the Republic was assumed by the Peronist E. Duhalde. Among the first measures of the new president were the end of the weight-dollar equivalence established by the convertibility law of 1991, the devaluation of 30% of the currency in the exchange set by the state for imports of essential goods and the increase of the maximum ceiling. withdrawal from bank accounts. In July 2002 Duhalde announced new presidential elections for the spring of 2003, in an attempt to soften the dramatic climate of social protest. Vast sectors of the middle class were in absolute poverty. In November 2002, the country’s economic credentials took a further blow following a failure to pay its debt to the World Bank, which consequently announced the suspension of any further loans. After heated controversy and the retirement of former president Menem, in May 2003 Néstor Kirchner became president, Peronist of the left wing of the movement. The newly elected immediately engaged in new negotiations with the IMF, which in September of the same year led to an important agreement for the delay in the repayment of loans at subsidized rates. A phase of economic recovery began, which would characterize the following years, with GDP growth between 2003 and 2005 of 8.8, 9 and 9.1% respectively. On the strength of the results obtained, at the beginning of 2006 Kirchner could announce that he had paid off the debt with the IMF (9.5 billion dollars), which however represented only a small part of the country’s total external debt (about 150 billion dollars). On the home front, Kirchner supported the classes most affected by the crisis and a policy of transparency with respect to the period of the military dictatorship (in June 2005 the Supreme Court canceled the amnesty for the officers accused of crimes and killings). Néstor’s wife, C. Fernández de Kirchner, elected in the first round and reconfirmed in the consultations held in October 2011 with 54% of the preferences, to the government – although within the limits of a certain intolerance to pluralism and the freedom of opposition – the merit of having been able to guarantee a certain economic recovery and to have reopened the trials of military and influential institutional figures must be ascribed. The presidential consultations of October 2015 were confronted by D. Scioli, candidate supported by Kirchner who received 36.5% of the votes, the conservative M. Macri, leader of Cambiemos, who obtained 34.6% of the votes, and the dissident Peronist S. Massa (21.25%); to the ballot – the first in the history of the Argentina – Macri obtained a clear victory (51.44% against 48.5% for Scioli), effectively marking a decisive turning point in the country after twelve years of Kirchnerist Peronism. The president’s liberal policy, which after a contraction of the economy produced a recovery and a 1.6% increase in GDP in 2017, was rewarded with a clear victory in the mid-term legislative elections held in the month of October, in which the Cambiemos party received about 42% of the votes, while Kirchner’s Unidad Ciudadana reached 37% of the votes. A clear political change took place in October 2019 following the presidential elections which awarded the victory to the center-left Kirchnerist candidate Argentina Fernández, who defeated Macri in the first round, winning approximately 48% of the votes against the approximately 41% of the outgoing president, who took over. In the consultations held in November 2021, for the first time since 1983, the pro-government alliance Frente de todos (Fdt) of President Fernández lost the majority in the Senate, winning 33.8% of the votes against the 42.1% obtained by the center-right opposition Juntos por el cambio, while in the Chamber it was confirmed as the first party (118 seats, against 116 of the opposition).