Raúl Alfonsín


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(b. 12 Mar. 1927; d. 31 Mar. 2009).

President of Argentina 1983–9 Member of the Radical Union Party (UCR) from 1945, he was a lawyer as well as a member of the Chamber of Deputies during two brief periods of civilian rule. He became leader of the UCR in 1981, and in 1983 was elected as an erstwhile opponent of military dictatorship and the Falklands War. He succeeded in stabilizing his country's fragile democracy, despite a number of attempted military coups, which was possible owing to popular aversion to a return to authoritarian rule. By contrast, he was unable to lead his country to economic recovery. When he lost the elections to his opponent, Menem, he caused a general surprise by resigning five months before Menem was due to take over, leaving the economy in a state of near-collapse. He became a Senator, and supported President Duhalde's efforts to restore the economy after the economic breakdown of 2001/2002.

Subjects: Politics — Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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