Justicialist Party

Justicialist Party
Partido Justicialista
President José Luis Gioja
General Secretary Alberto Balestrini
Senate leader Miguel Pichetto
Chamber leader Juliana Di Tullio
Founder Juan Perón
Founded 1947 (1947)
Merger of Labour Party
UCR Board Renewal
Independent Party[1]
Headquarters 130 Matheu Street
Buenos Aires
Youth wing Juventud Peronista
Membership  (2012) 3,626,728[2]
Ideology Peronism[3][4]
National affiliation Front for Victory
International affiliation Centrist Democrat International
Regional affiliation Christian Democrat Organization of America[5]
Colors          Light blue, White
Seats in the Senate
40 / 72
Seats in the Chamber of Deputies
96 / 257
Province Governors
12 / 24

The Justicialist Party (Spanish: Partido Justicialista, IPA: [parˈtiðo xustisjaˈlista]), or PJ, is a Peronist political party in Argentina, and the largest component of the Peronist movement.[6]

The party was led by Néstor Kirchner, President of Argentina from 2003 to 2007,[7] until his death on October 27, 2010. Former presidents Carlos Menem, Eduardo Duhalde, and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner are members. Justicialists have, covering nearly the entire period since 1989, been the largest party in the Congress.

The Justicialist Party is the largest party in the Congress; however, this does not reflect the divisions within the party over the role of Kirchnerism, the left-wing faction of the party. While dissident Peronists, the right-wing faction of the party is in opposition with other parties.

Party history

The Justicialist Party was founded in 1947 by Juan and Evita Perón, and superseded the Labour Party on which Perón had been elected a year earlier. Following the enactment of women's right to vote in 1948, a Peronist Women's 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.[8]

Basing itself on the policies espoused by Juan Perón as president of Argentina, the party's platform has from its inception centered around populism, and its most consistent base of support has historically been the CGT, Argentina's largest trade union. Perón ordered the mass nationalization of public services, strategic industries, and the critical farm export sector, while enacting progressive labor laws and social reforms, and accelerating public works investment.[8]

His tenure also favored technical schools while harassing university staff, and promoted urbanization as it raised taxes on the agrarian sector. These trends earned Peronism the loyalty of much of the working and lower classes, but helped alienate the upper and middle class sectors of society. Censorship and repression intensified, and following his loss of support from the influential Catholic Church, Perón was ultimately deposed in a violent 1955 coup.[8]

The alignment of these groups as pro or anti-Peronist largely endured, though 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 their 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.[9]

An impasse followed in which the PJ 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, this tenuous understanding disintegrated, and a wave of political violence ensued, ultimately resulting in a 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.[9]

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.[10]

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.[10]

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.[11] [12]

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.[13]


The Justicialist Party was, since its foundation, a Peronist catch-all party,[4] which focuses on the figure of Juan Perón and his wife Eva.

However, another wing of the party was well more than the left-wing because of extraction, Socialist or radical, which was headed by Héctor José Cámpora. In the years '60 '70 was also very active in the movement of the Montoneros, Marxist-inspired closer to Peronism.

From 1974 to 1976, under the leadership of Isabel Peron (which was maneuvered by José López Rega, leader of the internal right-wing after the death of Lastiri) the Justicialist Party is no longer characterized by anti-imperialists tones and revolutionaries, but for the rabid anti-communism, which became the main bulwark in South America, and for the support to economic liberalism. This line continued even after the military dictatorship of the National Reorganization Process, with the Government of Carlos Menem until that of Eduardo Duhalde. Since the return of Peron in 1973 the party actually had already moved to Third Position left-wing of Argentine political spectrum, assuming the characteristics of a centre-right party.

In 2003 the party has undergone an abrupt turnaround, with the rise of a faction, known as the "Front for Victory", led by Néstor Kirchner. These led to the coinage of the term "Kirchnerismo", to indicate a left-wing ideology that mixed of socialism, left-wing nationalism and radicalism. Néstor Kirchner was elected President of Argentina, becoming popular in a short time. After his death, his wife Cristina Fernández took over the leadership of the Front for Victory, which continues to be a major faction of the Justicialist Party, with the head of the party being Eduardo Fellner.


There are 2 main factions of the Justicialist Party that, due to the internal organization of the party, enjoy broad autonomy.

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 tick 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 tick Elected as the Justicialist Party part of the Justicialist Liberation Front
S-1973 Juan Perón 7,359,252 61.85 Green tick Elected part of the Justicialist Liberation Front
1983 Ítalo Lúder 5,944,402 40.16 Red X Defeated 247 Electoral College seats
1989 Carlos Menem 7,953,301 47.49 Green tick Elected 325 Electoral College seats, part of the Popular Justicialist Front
1995 Carlos Menem 8,687,319 49.94 Green tick Elected Joint-ticket (PJ—UCeDé)
1999 Eduardo Duhalde 7,254,417 38.27 Red X Defeated part of the Justicialist Coalition for Change
2003 Carlos Menem 4,740,907 24.45 null 0 Red X 2nd-R Forfeited Front for Loyalty a faction of PJ
Néstor Kirchner 4,312,517 22.24 null 0 Green tick 2nd-R Unopposed Front for Victory a faction of PJ
Adolfo Rodríguez Saá 2,735,829 14.11 Red X 1st-R Defeated Front of the Popular Movement a faction of PJ
2007 Cristina Kirchner 8,651,066 45.29 Green tick Elected part of the Front for Victory Alliance
Alberto Rodríguez Saá 1,458,955 7.64 Red X Defeated part of the Justice, Union and Liberty Front Alliance
2011 Cristina Kirchner 11,865,055 54.11 Green tick Elected Front for Victory a faction of PJ
2015 Daniel Scioli 9,338,449 37.08 12,198,441 48.60 Red X 2-R Defeated part of the Front for Victory Alliance

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
16 / 192
Minority José María Guido (UCRI) as Unión Popular and other pro-Justicialist
1965 2,833,528
(UP only)
(UP only)
52 / 192

(UP only)
Minority Arturo Umberto Illia (UCRP) as Unión Popular and other pro-Justicialist
Mar 1973 49.5
144 / 243
Majority Alejandro Agustín Lanusse (de facto) as Justicialist Party part of the Justicialist Liberation Front
1983 5,697,610 38.47
111 / 254
Minority Reynaldo Bignone (de facto)
1985 5,259,331 34.32
101 / 254
Minority Raúl Alfonsín (UCR)
1987 6,649,362 41.46
108 / 254
Minority Raúl Alfonsín (UCR)
1989 7,324,033 42.86
126 / 254
Minority Raúl Alfonsín (UCR) part of the Popular Justicialist Front
1991 6,288,222 40.22
116 / 257
Minority Carlos Menem (PJ)
1993 6,946,586 42.46
127 / 257
Minority Carlos Menem (PJ)
1995 7,294,828 43.03
131 / 257
Majority Carlos Menem (PJ)
1997 6,267,973 36.33
118 / 257
Minority Carlos Menem (PJ)
1999 5,986,674 32.33 50
101 / 257
Minority Carlos Menem (PJ)
2001 5,267,136 37.46 66
121 / 257
Minority Fernando de la Rúa (UCR—Alianza)
2003 5,511,420 35.1 58
129 / 257
Majority Eduardo Duhalde (PJ)
2005 6,883,925 40.5 66
140 / 257
Majority Néstor Kirchner (PJ-FPV)
2007 80
162 / 257
Majority Néstor Kirchner (PJ-FPV)
2009 5,891,330 30.80 47
110 / 257
Minority Cristina Kirchner (PJ-FPV)
2011 12,073,675 58.6 85
156 / 257
Majority Cristina Kirchner (PJ-FPV)
2013 12,702,809 55.39 154
167 / 257
Majority Cristina Kirchner (PJ-FPV)

Senate elections

Election year votes % seats won Total seats Position Presidency Note
2001 40
40 / 72
Majority Fernando de la Rúa (UCR-Alianza)
2003 14
41 / 72
Majority Eduardo Duhalde (PJ)
2005 4,995,726 63.0 18
45 / 72
Majority Néstor Kirchner (PJ-FPV)
2007 14
48 / 72
Majority Néstor Kirchner (PJ-FPV)
2009 8
34 / 72
Minority Cristina Kirchner (PJ-FPV)
2011 12
43 / 72
Majority Cristina Kirchner (PJ-FPV)
2013 1,960,301 38.11 14
40 / 72
Majority Cristina Kirchner (PJ-FPV)


  1. Efemérides populares: Se crea la Unión Cívica Radical Junta Renovadora UCR-JR, Diario La Opinión Popular, 28 de octubre de 2009 (Spanish)
  2. Estadística de Afiliados, Primer Semestre 2012, Registro Nacional de Afiliados a los Partidos Políticos, Cámara Nacional Electoral.
  3. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/452397/Peronist
  4. 1 2 http://www.stabroeknews.com/2010/opinion/editorial/10/29/the-death-of-nestor-kirchner/
  5. http://www.odca.org.mx/partidos.php
  6. Justicialist Party — Official website.
  7. Clarín (10 Mar 2010) (Spanish)
  8. 1 2 3 Crassweller, Robert. Perón and the Enigmas of Argentina. W.W. Norton & Company, 1988.
  9. 1 2 Poneman, Daniel. Argentina: Democracy on Trial. Paragon House, 1987.
  10. 1 2 BBC News. 2 January 2002. Argentina's new president sworn in.
  11. BBC News. 26 May 2003. Argentina hopes for new beginning.
  12. The Economist. 12 April 2006. Latin America - The return of populism.
  13. Clarín (30 Jun 2009) (Spanish)

Coordinates: 34°36′40.5″S 58°24′0.5″W / 34.611250°S 58.400139°W / -34.611250; -58.400139

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