BUENOS AIRES – Cristina Fernandez on Wednesday bade farewell to eight years of presidency, ending the 12-year-long Kirchner era in the country, in an emotional ceremony at the gates of the government seat Pink House, addressing thousands of supporters gathered at the Plaza de Mayo to hear her last and emotional speech.
“Thank you for so much happiness, thank you for so much joy, thank you for so much love... I carry them in my heart and I will always be with you,” said Fernandez, in a broken voice, standing on a stage wrapped with the Argentine flag, facing a square packed with Kirchner supporters who came to bid her farewell.
Dressed in impeccable white, the outgoing President said “after twelve and a half years” of a political project that started with the arrival of her husband and predecessor Nestor Kirchner to power, she can “look into the eyes of all Argentines.”
“I can’t talk much because after midnight I’ll turn into a pumpkin,” quipped Fernandez during her speech, criticizing a federal court ruling in favor of Macri that ends her mandate Wednesday midnight and not Thursday when Macri takes oath in Congress.
The legal measure enables the provisional president of the Senate, Federico Pinedo and member of opposition alliance Cambiemos to temporarily exercise the Presidency of Argentina until Macri is sworn-in Thursday afternoon.
Cambiemos approached the Supreme Court after a controversy erupted between Fernandez and Macri as to where the presidential sash and staff would be handed over.
“I would have liked to hand over the attributes of command at the Legislative Assembly, highest federal and popular body of our country,” said Fernandez.
However, Macri will finally receive the attributes in the Pink House, as he wanted, and from Pinedo and not Fernandez.
Speaking to her supporters she said “we believe in what we have achieved so we need to have a positive attitude to ensure that these things will not be destroyed.”
Applauded with songs and cheered with flags, Fernandez closed her final act with a hug from her son Max Kirchner and dancing to the fireworks in front of a plaza packed with a sea of supporters.
On her future from midnight onwards she remained clear and unwavering: to continue in politics.
“The work continues. The natural place of a political member does not have to be the government, the natural place of a political member is always next to the people. I think that the work continues stronger than ever,” she said.