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Justicialist Party

Justicialist Party
Partido Justicialista
AbbreviationPJ
PresidentAlberto Fernández (UP)
Vice-PresidentCristina Álvarez Rodríguez (UP)[1]
Senate leaderJosé Mayans (UP)
Chamber leaderGermán Martínez (UP)
FoundersJuan Perón
Eva Perón
Founded21 July 1946; 77 years ago (1946-07-21)
Merger ofLabour Party
UCR Board Renewal
Independent Party[2]
Headquarters130 Matheu Street
Buenos Aires
Student wingPeronist University Youth
Youth wingPeronist Youth
Membership (2022)3,204,329[3]
Ideology
Political positionBig tent[12][13][14][A]
Kirchnerists:
Centre-left[15] to left-wing[16]
Federals:
Centre-right[17]
National affiliationUnion for the Homeland[18]
Continental affiliationChristian Democrat Organization of America[19]
São Paulo Forum
COPPPAL[20]
Colors  Light blue   White
Anthem"Peronist March"
Seats in the Senate
36 / 72
Seats in the Chamber of Deputies
91 / 257
Governors
11 / 24
Election symbol
Flag
Flag
Website
www.pj.org.ar Edit this at Wikidata

^ A: The party has sometimes been described as syncretic or a "third way" party,[21][22] but mostly as centre-left,[14] left-wing,[23] and leftist.[24]
This diversity in classifying the Justicialist Party is caused by Peronism historically stretching from far-left to far-right views.[25] The party is classified as centre-left or left-wing because of the dominating position of Kirchnerism; Steven Levitsky notes that under Kirchnerism, the party "shifted programmatically to the left".[26] Lastly, Juan Perón, the founder of the Peronist movement, is considered to have been ideologically left-wing.[27][28]

The Justicialist Party (Spanish: Partido Justicialista, IPA: [paɾˈtiðo xustisjaˈlista]; abbr. PJ) is a major political party in Argentina, and the largest branch within Peronism.[29]

Former president Alberto Fernández belongs to the Justicialist Party (and has, since 2021, served as its chairman),[1] as do (or did) former presidents Juan Perón, Héctor Cámpora, Raúl Alberto Lastiri, Isabel Perón, Carlos Menem, Ramón Puerta, Adolfo Rodríguez Saá, Eduardo Camaño, Eduardo Duhalde, Néstor Kirchner, and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Justicialists have been the largest party in Congress almost consistently since 1987.

Founded by Juan Perón, it was previously called the Peronist Party after its founder. It is overall the largest party in Congress; however, this does not reflect the divisions within the party over the role of Kirchnerism, the main, left-wing populist faction of the party, which is opposed by the dissident Peronists (also known as Federal Peronism or Menemism), the conservative faction of the party.

History

First emblem of the Peronist Party, used from 1946 to 1955

Overview

The Justicialist Party was founded in 1946 by Juan and Eva Perón, uniting the Labour Party, the Radical Civic Union Renewal Board and the Independent Party, the three parties that had supported Peron in the election. After the enactment of women's suffrage, the Female Peronist Party, led by the First Lady, was also established. All Peronist entities were banned from elections after 1955, when the Revolución Libertadora overthrew Perón, and civilian governments' attempt to lift Peronism's ban from legislative and local elections in 1962 and 1965 resulted in military coups.[30]

Basing itself on the policies espoused by Perón as Argentine president, the party's platform has from its inception centered on populism, and its most consistent base of support has historically been the General Confederation of Labor, Argentina's largest trade union. Perón ordered the mass nationalization of public services, strategic industries, and the critical farm export sector; enacted progressive labor laws and social reforms; and accelerated public works investment.[30]

His tenure also favored technical schools, harassed university staff, and promoted urbanization as it raised taxes on the agrarian sector. Those trends earned Peronism the loyalty of much of the working and lower classes but helped alienate the upper and middle classes of society. Censorship and repression intensified, and following his loss of support from the influential Argentine Catholic Church, Perón was ultimately deposed in a violent 1955 coup.[30]

The alignment of groups as supporting or opposing Peronism has largely endured, but the policies of Peronism itself varied greatly over the subsequent decades, as did increasingly those put forth by its many competing figures. During Perón's exile, it became a big tent party united almost solely by its support for the aging leader's return. A series of violent incidents, as well as Perón's negotiations with both the military regime and diverse political factions, helped lead to his return to Argentina in 1973 and to his election in September that year.[31]

An impasse followed in which the party had a place both for leftist armed organizations such as Montoneros, and far-right factions such as José López Rega's Argentine Anti-Communist Alliance. Following Perón's death in 1974, however, the tenuous understanding disintegrated, and a wave of political violence ensued, ultimately resulting in the March 1976 coup. The Dirty War of the late 1970s, which cost hundreds of Peronists (among thousands more) their lives, solidified the party's populist outlook, particularly following the failure of conservative Economy Minister José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz's free trade and deregulatory policies after 1980.[31]

In the first democratic elections after the end of the dictatorship of the National Reorganization Process, in 1983, the Justicialist Party lost to the Radical Civic Union (UCR). Six years later, it returned to power with Carlos Menem, during whose term the Constitution was reformed to allow for presidential reelection. Menem (1989–1999) adopted neoliberal right-wing policies which changed the overall image of the party.[32]

The Justicialist Party was defeated by a coalition formed by the UCR and the centre-left FrePaSo (itself a left-wing offshoot of the PJ) in 1999, but regained political weight in the 2001 legislative elections, and was ultimately left in charge of managing the selection of an interim president after the economic collapse of December 2001. Justicialist Eduardo Duhalde, chosen by Congress, ruled during 2002 and part of 2003.[32]

The 2003 elections saw the constituency of the party split in three, as Carlos Menem, Néstor Kirchner (backed by Duhalde) and Adolfo Rodríguez Saá ran for the presidency leading different party coalitions. After Kirchner's victory, the party started to align behind his leadership, moving slightly to the left.[33][34]

The Justicialist Party effectively broke apart in the 2005 legislative elections when two factions ran for a Senate seat in Buenos Aires Province: Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (then the First Lady) and Hilda González de Duhalde (wife of former president Duhalde). The campaign was particularly vicious. Kirchner's side allied with other minor forces and presented itself as a heterodox, left-leaning Front for Victory (FpV), while Duhalde's side stuck to older Peronist tradition. González de Duhalde's defeat to her opponent marked, according to many political analysts, the end to Duhalde's dominance over the province, and was followed by a steady defection of his supporters to the winner's side.

Néstor Kirchner proposed the entry of the party into the Socialist International in February 2008. His dominance of the party was undermined, however, by the 2008 Argentine government conflict with the agricultural sector, when a bill raising export taxes was introduced with presidential support. Subsequent growers' lockouts helped result in the defection of numerous Peronists from the FpV caucus, and further losses during the 2009 mid-term elections resulted in the loss of the FpV absolute majorities in both houses of Congress.[35]

In 2015, the PJ, with its presidential candidate Daniel Scioli, was defeated by the Cambiemos coalition. Mauricio Macri was inaugurated as President of Argentina, ending 12 years of Kirchnerism.[36][37]

However, in the elections of 2019, the PJ joined the Frente de Todos, which won the presidential elections. The PJ returned to power, with Alberto Fernández as President of the nation. On 10 December 2019, the Centre-left Alberto Fernández of the Justicialist Party was inaugurated president, after defeating the incumbent Mauricio Macri in the 2019 Argentine general election.[38]

On 22 March 2021, Fernández was elected by the national congress of the Justicialist Party as the party's new national chairman, succeeding José Luis Gioja.[39] Fernández ran unopposed, heading the Unidad y Federalismo list, which received the support of diverse sectors in the Peronist movement, including La Cámpora.[40]

The Union for the Homeland (Unión por la Patria, UP) is a Centre-left political and electoral coalition of Peronist political parties in Argentina, formed to compete in the 2023 general election.[41] The coalition is a successor to the previous Frente de Todos coalition.[42] The coalition is centered on the Justicialist Party and its allies both on the federal and provincial levels, including the Renewal Front of Sergio Massa. [43][44]

In April 2023, President Alberto Fernandez announced that he would not seek re-election in the next presidential election.[45] In the primary elections on August of that year, Sergio Massa defeated Juan Grabois by a margin of nearly 16 percentage points, although it became the worst result for a ruling Peronist coalition since the PASO was first implemented in 2009.[44]

In the runoff in November 2023, Libertarian candidate Javier Milei defeated Massa with 55.7% against 44,35% of the vote, the highest percentage of the vote since Argentina's transition to democracy. Massa conceded defeat shortly before the official results were published.[46][47]

Beginning

The Justicialist party was created in November 1946, 10 months after Juan D. Perón was elected president of the nation, with the name Single Revolutionary party; previously this would be called the Peronist party. The party was a result of the fusion of three parties that had been created in 1945 in order to sustain the presidential candidacy of Perón: the Labor party, the Radical Renovating Together Civic Union, and the Independent party.

Peronism

Peronism is a political current that was established between November 1943 and October 1945, as a result of an alliance between a large number of unions, principally of socialist and revolutionary union ideology, and two soldiers – Juan Domingo Perón and Domingo Mercante, whose initial objective was to run the National Labor Department – later elevated to the level of Secretary of Labor and Social Security – and to drive until there were laws and measures for the worker's benefit. The Secretary was run by Perón, who in the course of those years was converted into the leader of a new political movement that would take the name Peronism in the course of 1945.

In those years the country was governed since 1943 by a military dictatorship self-designated as the Revolution of ‘43, made of a very heterogeneous composition, that had overthrown at its time a fraudulent regime, known as the Infamous Decade. At the start of 1945, the US ambassador to Argentina, Spruille Braden, organized a broad movement that was defined as anti-peronist, with the goal of opposing Perón and the sanctioned labor laws. Largely as a reaction to the union movement, principally the socialist and revolutionary union majority started to define themselves as peronists.[48][49]

On 8 October 1945, at the loss of the vote from the officials of Campo de Mayo, Perón renounced, being later detained. Nine days later, a big worker mobilization known as Loyalty Day, compelled the military government to prepare Perón’s liberation and call elections. That day is the most cited as the date of peronism’s birth.[50]

Party Organization until 1955

Many union leaders opposed him, but their political inexperience and Perón’s charisma before the masses made them unsuccessful.[51] Lewinsky characterizes the Peronist party (PP) as a popular party that will differ from other European, union based parties in four aspects.

The first of them is that they had been created from above by agents of the State, destined to retain power more than to obtain it; operated in major part by their own government using State resources whereas PP never developed their own organization. The second is that they were an extremely personalist party that in the statutes of 1954 declared Perón is their “Supreme Leader” and gave him the authority to “modify or declare null and void the decision of the party authorities… to inspect, intervene, and replace” the leaders of the party and even prohibited party headquarters from displaying photographs that were not Perón or Eva Perón. The national party management intervened in permanent form in the provincial subsidiaries and used to choose the local candidates. Usually the leaders with independent support were displaced and replaced by those “loyal to the death” that followed Perón's directives exclusively. In this form, the political career inside the party depended exclusively on the bonds with Perón; there was not a structure for political promotion nor a stable bureaucratic hierarchy. For example, the reorganization of the party in 1947 signified the replacement of the entirety of the highest party leadership members.[52]

Third, the party had a fluid structure that was maintained until the final days of the decade of 1940. In 1951, Perón once again reorganized the party structure creating a parallel hierarchy with a “strategic national command” and provincial “tactical commands” that would have representatives of the three party branches – masculine, feminine, and union – but in practice Perón and Eva Perón exercised strategic leadership, and the governors and “inventors” arrived ahead of the tactics. Lastly, differently from the English Labor party, the PP did not initially have rules about their relation with the unions. In the decade of 1950, the union was recognized as one of the three branches and, as such, was attributed to them by tradition – without a written norm – a right to a third of the candidacies, but until 1955 it was not complied with rigor.[52]

Ideology

The Justicialist Party was historically left-wing populist.[53] Founded by Juan Perón who rose to Argentinian presidency in the 1940s with the support of his wife Eva Perón, the party was composed of Perón's loyalists and was a personification of populism in the form of a strong charismatic leader. The reforms carried out by Perón in 1940s and 1950s were described as socialist and populist.[54] Christopher Wylde defines Peronism as "a form of leftist–populist nationalism, rooted in an urban working-class movement that was allied to elements of the domestic bourgeoisie as well as the military."[55] Writing on Perón and his ideology, Charles D. Ameringer argued that "The rise to power of Juan Perón in 1943 was not the end of the socialist impulse in Argentina; it was the culmination" and added that "much of the social legislation either introduced or implemented by Perón . . . originated with the Socialist Party."[56]

The basic principles of Peronism and the Justicialist Party were economic independence, political sovereignty, and social justice, as formulated by Perón. Economically, Perón expanded public spending and gave the state a dominating role in production and distribution (economic nationalism), implemented egalitarian distribution of national income (therefore Peronism is considered to represent syndicalism and/or non-Marxist socialism), and implemented a system of incentives and rewards that would direct economic activities towards local markets while severely limiting production for international markets (protectionism).[55] Peronism rejected individualism in favor of communitarianism and sought a system that would reject both capitalism and liberalism in favor of an economic system that would be oriented around "social equity, rather than the individual pursuit of wealth." This was combined with Peronist redefinition of citizenship, as Perón attracted and empowered groups that were previously excluded socially and economically - urban poor, immigrant communities and unionised workers.[57]

Socially, Peronism was authoritarian, yet it also implemented free suffrage and promoted causes such as feminism, indigenous rights and emancipation of the working class. Peter Ranis wrote that "paradoxically, Perón democratized Argentina in the sense of bringing the working class more fully into the political process, though his administrations often placed cultural and political restrictions on the opposition that severely compromised that democracy."[58] The legitimacy of Peronism derived from trade unions who gave Perón their support, and his ideology was a reflection of demands and expectations of the Argentinian labor movement. According to historian Daniel James, the reliance of Peronism on trade unions was so strong, that in the Peronist movement, "the initiative very much lay with the trade union movement; Perón was more its creature than the labor movement was his."[59]

Following the overthrow of Perón in 1955, Peronism would gradually shift further to the left, something that was influenced by political developments in Latin America such as the Cuban Revolution and the development of far-left liberation theology amongst Latin American Catholics, as well as by Perón's tactical endorsement and promotion of socialist and leftist currents within his movement.[60] In 1956, exiled Perón picked left-wing activist John William Cooke to represent the Peronist movement in Argentina in his absence. Cooke promoted socialism and presented Peronism as a movement that was "antibureaucratic, socialist, profoundly national, and sister to all the world's exploited [peoples]", and praising Perón as the "leader of national liberation".[61] In 1960, Cooke moved to Revolutionary Cuba, where he combined Peronism with Guevarism, Castroism and the foco theory.[62]

Perón approved of Cooke's activism and wrote positively of Marxism himself, identifying Peronist struggle with the Cuban Revolution. With Perón's encouragement, Peronist youth formed left-wing, revolutionary orgnizations such as the Montoneros and the People's Revolutionary Army. Perón supported their struggle as a realisation of his justicialist doctrine, agreeing with the Montoneros' conclusion that "the only possible road for the people to seize power and install national socialism is total, national, and prolonged revolutionary war . . . [following] the methods of rural and urban guerrillas."[63] Following Vatican II that led to development of anti-capitalist, revolutionary and Marxist-aligned rhetoric amongst Latin American clergy, Perón also gained support of left-wing Catholics who supported the far-left liberation theology. Left-wing priests praised Peronism as a precursor to liberation theology, and the Movement of Priests for the Third World argued that "the Peronist movement, revolutionary, with its massive force... will necessarily lead to the revolution which will make possible an original and Latin American socialism."[64]

From the return of Perón in 1973 and under the leadership of Isabel Perón, the Justicialist Party was no longer characterized by anti-imperialist and revolutionary tones but by a strong focus on Orthodox Peronism and anti-communism (of which it became the main bulwark in South America).

That line continued even after the military dictatorship of the National Reorganization Process, with the government of Carlos Menem until that of Eduardo Duhalde. The party moved from Orthodox Peronism to the centre-right, while its rival Radical Civic Union acted as a centre-left party.

Since 2003, the party has undergone an abrupt revolution, with the rise of a faction known as the Front for Victory, led by Néstor Kirchner. The policies and ideology of that faction were dubbed Kirchnerism, a mix of anti-neoliberalism, left-wing nationalism and radicalism. Kirchner was elected President of Argentina and soon became a popular left-wing figure. The party shifted to being left-wing populist, while the Radical Civic Union joined with other anti-Kirchnerist centrist and center-right parties including Republican Proposal. After his death in 2010, his wife, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, took over the leadership of the Front for Victory, which continues to be a major faction of the Justicialist Party.

Leaders

The party is headed by a National Committee, whose president is the de facto leader of the party.

Electoral history

Presidential elections

Election year Candidate(s) First Round Second Round Result Note
# votes % vote # votes % vote
1951 Juan Perón 4,745,168 63.40 Green tickY Elected as the Peronist Party
1958 no candidate (banished) Steady
1963 no candidate (banished) Steady
M-1973 Héctor Cámpora 5,907,464 49.56 Green tickY Elected as the Justicialist Party part of the Justicialist Liberation Front
S-1973 Juan Perón 7,359,252 61.85 Green tickY Elected part of the Justicialist Liberation Front
1983 Ítalo Lúder 5,944,402 40.16 Red XN Defeated 247 Electoral College seats
1989 Carlos Menem 7,953,301 47.49 Green tickY Elected 325 Electoral College seats, part of the Popular Justicialist Front
1995 Carlos Menem 8,687,319 49.94 Green tickY Elected Joint-ticket (PJ—UCeDé)
1999 Eduardo Duhalde 7,254,417 38.27 Red XN Defeated part of the Justicialist Coalition for Change
2003 Carlos Menem 4,740,907 24.45 null 0 Red XN 2nd-R Forfeited Front for Loyalty, a faction of PJ
Néstor Kirchner 4,312,517 22.24 null 0 Green tickY 2nd-R Unopposed Front for Victory, a faction of PJ
Adolfo Rodríguez Saá 2,735,829 14.11 Red XN 1st-R Defeated Front of the Popular Movement, a faction of PJ
2007 Cristina Kirchner 8,651,066 45.29 Green tickY Elected part of the Front for Victory Alliance
Alberto Rodríguez Saá 1,458,955 7.64 Red XN Defeated part of the Justice, Union and Liberty Front Alliance
2011 Cristina Kirchner 11,865,055 54.11 Green tickY Elected Front for Victory, a faction of PJ
2015 Daniel Scioli 9,338,449 37.08 12,198,441 48.60 Red XN 2nd-R Defeated part of the Front for Victory Alliance
2019 Alberto Fernández 12,473,709 48.10 Green tickY Elected part of the Everyone's Front Alliance
2023 Sergio Massa 9,853,492 36.78 11,516,142 44.31 Red XN 2nd-R Defeated part of the Union for the Homeland
Juan Schiaretti 1,802,068 6.73 Red XN 1st-R Defeated part of the Hacemos por Nuestro País

Congressional elections

Chamber of Deputies

Election year votes % seats won Total seats Position Presidency Note
1948 64.1
109 / 158
Majority Juan Perón (PP) as the Peronist Party
1951 63.5
135 / 149
Majority Juan Perón (PP) as the Peronist Party
1954 4,977,586 62.96
161 / 173
Majority Juan Perón (PJ) as the Peronist Party
1958 null 0 0
0 / 187
Banned Pedro Eugenio Aramburu (de facto)
1960 null 0 0
0 / 192
Banned Arturo Frondizi (UCRI)
1962 1,592,446 17.53
23 / 192
Minority Arturo Frondizi (UCRI) as Unión Popular
1963
16 / 192
Minority José María Guido (UCRI) as Unión Popular and other pro-Justicialist
1965 2,833,528
(UP only)
29.6
(UP only)
52 / 192

(UP only)
Minority Arturo Umberto Illia (UCRP) as Unión Popular and other pro-Justicialist
1973 5,908,414 48.7
144 / 243
Majority Alejandro Agustín Lanusse (de facto) as Justicialist Party part of the Justicialist Liberation Front
1983 5,697,610 38.5
56 / 127
111 / 254
Minority Reynaldo Bignone (de facto)
1985 5,259,331 34.3
55 / 127
101 / 254
Minority Raúl Alfonsín (UCR)
1987 6,649,362 41.5
60 / 127
108 / 254
Minority Raúl Alfonsín (UCR)
1989 7,324,033 42.9
65 / 127
126 / 254
Minority Raúl Alfonsín (UCR) part of the Popular Justicialist Front
1991 6,288,222 40.2
62 / 127
116 / 257
Minority Carlos Menem (PJ)
1993 6,946,586 42.5
64 / 127
127 / 257
Minority Carlos Menem (PJ)
1995 7,294,828 43.0
68 / 127
131 / 257
Majority Carlos Menem (PJ)
1997 6,267,973 36.3
50 / 127
118 / 257
Minority Carlos Menem (PJ)
1999 5,986,674 32.3
51 / 127
101 / 257
Minority Carlos Menem (PJ)
2001 5,267,136 37.5
67 / 127
121 / 257
Minority Fernando de la Rúa (UCR—Alianza)
2003 5,511,420 35.1
62 / 127
129 / 257
Majority Eduardo Duhalde (PJ) as part of the FPV
2005 6,883,925 40.5
80 / 128
140 / 257
Majority Néstor Kirchner (PJ-FPV) as part of the FPV
2007 5,557,087 45.6
82 / 127
162 / 257
Majority Néstor Kirchner (PJ-FPV) as part of the FPV
2009 5,941,184 30.3
44 / 127
110 / 257
Minority Cristina Kirchner (PJ-FPV) as part of the FPV
2011 12,073,675 58.6
86 / 130
130 / 257
Majority Cristina Kirchner (PJ-FPV) as part of the FPV
2013 12,702,809 55.4
47 / 127
133 / 257
Majority Cristina Kirchner (PJ-FPV) as part of the FPV
2015 8,797,279 37.4
59 / 127
95 / 257
Minority Cristina Kirchner (PJ-FPV) as part of the FPV
2017 9,518,813 39.0
58 / 127
110 / 257
Minority Mauricio Macri (PRO-Cambiemos) as part of the Citizen's Unity
2019 11,359,508 45.5
64 / 127
122 / 257
Minority Mauricio Macri (PRO-Cambiemos) as part of the PDT
2021 7,801,865 33.57
50 / 127
118 / 257
Minority Alberto Fernández (PJ-FDT) as part of the PDT

Senate elections

Election year votes % seats won Total seats Position Presidency Note
2001 5,668,523 39.0
40 / 72
40 / 72
Majority Fernando de la Rúa (UCR-Alianza)
2003 1,852,456 40.7
18 / 24
41 / 72
Majority Eduardo Duhalde (PJ) as part of the FPV
2005 3,572,361 45.1
18 / 24
45 / 72
Majority Néstor Kirchner (PJ-FPV) as part of the FPV
2007 1,048,187 45.6
14 / 24
48 / 72
Majority Néstor Kirchner (PJ-FPV) as part of the FPV
2009 756,695 30.3
8 / 24
34 / 72
Minority Cristina Kirchner (PJ-FPV) as part of the FPV
2011 5,470,241 54.6
12 / 24
43 / 72
Majority Cristina Kirchner (PJ-FPV) as part of the FPV
2013 1,608,846 32.1
14 / 24
40 / 72
Majority Cristina Kirchner (PJ-FPV) as part of the FPV
2015 2,336,037 32.7
11 / 24
39 / 72
Majority Cristina Kirchner (PJ-FPV) as part of the FPV
2017 3,785,518 32.7
9 / 24
36 / 72
Minority Mauricio Macri (PRO—Cambiemos) as part of the Citizens' Unity
2019 2,609,017 46.30
13 / 24
39 / 72
Majority Mauricio Macri (PRO—Cambiemos) as part of the FDT
2021 1,916,759 27.54
9 / 24
35 / 72
Minority Alberto Fernández (PJ—FDT) as part of the FDT

References

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  14. ^ a b Cupples, Julie (2021). Development and Decolonization in Latin America. Routledge. p. 104. ISBN 9780367627089. The centre-left Justicialist Party returned to power in 2019, and Cristina Fernández became vice-president.
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  16. ^
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34°36′40.5″S 58°24′0.5″W / 34.611250°S 58.400139°W / -34.611250; -58.400139

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Justicialist Party
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