Argentine first lady launches presidential campaign

July 21, 2007 - 0:0

BUENOS AIRES (Xinhua) -- Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Argentina's first lady, launched her campaign for the presidency on Thursday, promising to stick to the country's present economic and social model.

The 54-year-old first lady, who is also a powerful senator and President Nestor Kirchner's top adviser, unveiled her presidential bid to become Argentina's first female president candidate, in her hometown of La Plata. ""Argentina has new hopes, so there is now a need to keep carrying this model forward,"" she said when addressing a packed theater of nearly 1,700 party leaders and her supporters. She promised that, if elected in the October presidential election, she would strive to deepen and consolidate the economic course carved out by her husband, through rebuilding democracy and the rule of law, fostering a sound model of economic development and restoring public confidence in the country. Polls show that the first lady is the overwhelming favorite to win the October election with 48 percent of support. President Kirchner, who said two weeks ago that he would not seek reelection, remains popular after more than four years in office. Kirchner said her candidacy would be a chance for change and new ideas