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Last Updated: Monday, 29 October 2007, 16:41 GMT
Keeping politics in the family
Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Fernandez
Cristina Fernandez was her husband's chief adviser
Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has secured victory in Argentina's presidential election, after being hand-picked by her popular husband President Nestor Kirchner as the Peronist Party candidate.

Argentine law prevents a president serving more than two consecutive terms, but a husband-and-wife team could alternate in power if they continue to be supported.

Mrs Kirchner's political ambitions have earned her comparisons with other wives who had designs on their husband's careers.

Below are a selection of those couples who tried to keep politics in the family, along with those who fell out over it.


Hillary and Bill Clinton have spent many years as a political team. According to Hillary's biography, not long after they got together, they hatched a long-term political plan that, if successful, would give them eight years each in the White House.

Hillary and Bill Clinton in 1998
Hillary and Bill before the first lady made her own bid for office in 1999
During his first campaign, Mr Clinton routinely invoked his wife, joking that voters would get "two for one" if they elected him. Indeed, when he was elected, he gave his wife an unprecedented role for a first lady, by putting her in charge of his health-care reform.

Both the scheme and Hillary's appointment were widely criticised, and the reform failed to pass through Congress in 1993.

Mrs Clinton continued to play a significant role as first lady, actively promoting education and childcare. She struck out on her own in 1999 when she ran for the Senate.

The issue of a spouse's role has resurfaced during the 2008 US election campaign. Harnessing her husband's political skills and experience, Mrs Clinton has said that she would give her husband a job as a roaming ambassador to the world to boost America's image abroad.

"I can't think of a better cheerleader for America than Bill Clinton. Can you?" she said in Iowa while campaigning. She added that she was very lucky that he had so much experience.

However, the former president recently said he would take a back seat in the White House should Hillary be elected president. In an interview with the BBC, he said he would not be a "president by proxy".


Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has not only drawn comparisons with Hillary Clinton, but with Argentina's iconic former first lady Eva Peron.

Eva Peron
Evita was a powerful and popular first lady
During her husband Juan's rule in the late 1940s and early 1950s, political observers credited "Evita" with influence in governmental affairs that was second only to the president's.

She was adored by the country's poor and combined an untiring and passionate advocacy for that section of the population with a contempt for the country's well-off.

In 1951, she received much support for her desire to run for the office of vice president. She was eventually thwarted, but in a broadcast to the country, she said: "There was a woman alongside General Peron who took to him the hopes and needs of the people to satisfy them, and her name was Evita."

General Peron's rule collapsed shortly after Evita died of cancer in 1952 and he was forced to flee the country.

He returned to Argentina and to power in the early 1970s with a new wife Isabel. The former dancer succeeded her husband as president, on his death in 1974. But her rule proved to be disastrous and she was deposed in a military coup two years later.


The glamorous and well-turned-out Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has earned herself the nickname of Imelda in some quarters, after Imelda Marcos, the Philippines' flamboyant former first lady. It seems the two share a passion for footwear.

Imelda Marcos
Imelda Marcos described herself as the "mother" of the Philippines
Imelda helped her husband Ferdinand rule for more than 20 years. Ferdinand was elected president of the country in 1969. Three years later, he declared martial law and consolidated power for himself and his wife.

Imelda assumed a succession of formal governmental posts, including one that enabled her to tour the world meeting heads of state as her husband's personal envoy.

The couple were toppled in a popular revolt in 1986 and fled to Hawaii. After her husband's death, Imelda returned to the Philippines and ran unsuccessfully for president twice. She was elected to Congress before facing corruption charges.

Summing up her career recently, Mrs Marcos said: "For 20 years, I was privileged to be mother of the Filipino people and our country."


France's "golden couple" of the left, Segolene Royal and Francois Hollande, proved that power partnerships are not always plain sailing.

Segolene Royal and Francois Hollande
Royal and Hollande are no longer France's "golden couple"
Ms Royal - who ran for president as the Socialist candidate earlier this year - split with Mr Hollande, Socialist Party leader and her partner of more than 27 years, after her defeat by Nicolas Sarkozy.

According to political observers, their relationship had clearly been put under increased strain by disagreements during the presidential elections.

Mr Hollande, who according to observers had wanted to run for the presidency, was occasionally quoted contradicting Ms Royal's policies during the campaign.

Ms Royal has made it clear that she wants to wrest control of the Socialist Party from the father of her four children


Peru's former first lady Susana Higuchi was famously stripped of her title by her husband Alberto Fujimori in 1994, after she accused him of tolerating widespread government corruption and ignoring the needs of the country's poor. The two were separated but still married at the time.

President Fujimori explained in an address to the nation that his wife had been "disloyal", as well as "unstable and easily influenced" by his political rivals. He then bestowed the title of first lady on the couple's daughter.

A year later, Ms Higuchi tried to run against her husband in the 1995 presidential race. Mr Fujimori, however, pushed a law through Congress banning immediate relatives of the president seeking higher office. The couple divorced a year later.

In 2000, Ms Higuchi was elected to Congress.

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