September 25, 2020

Argimón, a feminist turned into the first Uruguayan elected vice president



Beatriz Argimón, a race policy, fighter for feminist rights and icon of the National Party (PN, right-wing center), assumed this Sunday as the first elected vice president of Uruguay in its history.

Although Lucia Topolansky held that position for almost three years in the Government of Tabaré Vázquez that was extinguished this Saturday, she was never elected, but instead took office after the resignation of the vice president, Raul Sendic, for a corruption case.

Argimón, born in 1961, this policy and public notary comes from a family of white tradition (as the National Party militants are known).

The militancy of Argimón began very young, with only 16 years and during his career he has reached positions of great importance in the internal politics of his party.

In addition to having been mayor of Montevideo, she was also a deputy between 2000 and 2010 while in 2018 she was appointed president of the National Party Board (PN, right-wing center), thus being the first woman to hold that position

THE NATIONAL PARTY, A GUIDE FOR YOUR LIFE

Like that of many young people of his time, Argimón began military following the figure of Wilson Ferreira Aldunate, one of the most representative leaders of the PN who had a prominent role in the resistance against the civil-military dictatorship (1973-1985) .

With only 28 years and after graduating in writing, the now vice president informed her family of the decision to go in search of the post of mayor of Montevideo, and thus definitely begin her political career.

Her path in this party led her, during the Government of Luis Alberto Lacalle Herrera, the father of the current president (1990-1995), to be director of the National Institute for Children (Iname).

After founding a Community Action group, together with the mother of the current president, Julia Pou, Argimón first came to the House of Representatives being elected deputy in the period of 2000-2005.

For the next term, she joined the “Wilsonista Correntada” and was re-elected as a deputy, an unprecedented event in the history of the PN.

FEMINISM, A PILLAR OF ARGIMON

The struggle for women’s rights and to gain access to more representative positions has been one of the greatest concerns of the Uruguayan vice president throughout her life.

So much so that she was one of the founders of the Women’s Political Network and the Bicameral Women’s Bank of the Uruguayan Parliament, which she now intends to reactivate.

It was also one of those who led the discussion to pass the quota law, which requires the inclusion of people of different gender at least in one of the first three places of each electoral list.

The latter had resistance from several PN legislators but, likewise, the law remained.

Within a party with large conservative currents, Armigón had to carry out an internal struggle to ensure equality.

In this way, she was the promoter of the Gender Observatory of her party, which aims to control the fulfillment of women’s participation in the entire party structure.

One of the biggest blows suffered by the vice president within her party was the situation experienced with the mayor of Colonia (west), Carlos Moreira, after audios leaked where he invited a woman to have sex in exchange for an internship in the intendence

This, which also occurred in the absence of a few days of the October national elections, caused Argimón’s outrage and Moreira’s expulsion request from the party. However, Moreira decided to quit the game before going to the ethics committee.

AN UNEXPECTED CANDIDATURE

The same night of the October elections, when Luis Lacalle Pou came out to give the speech after a first round in which he was very well stopped with a view to the November ballot, he announced to the surprise of many Argimon’s candidacy to be his companion of formula.

During a campaign month in which the current vice president took an important role, the PN finally managed to win the Broad Front (FA, left) in the November elections and thus became the first elected vice president of the country’s history.

Now, Argimón will have the challenge of continuing his feminist legacy within a party that still has a large conservative sector.

Federico Anfitti

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