Carlos Saúl Menem


Carlos Saul Menem was born on July 2, 1930 – February 14, 2021, he was an Argentine politician who was President of Argentina from July 8, 1989, to December 10 1999.

He was also a Senator for La Rioja Province from December 10, 2005, until his death. Ideologically, he identified as a Peronist and pursued economically liberal policies, serving as President of the Justicialist Party from 1990 to 2001, with his political approach called Menemism.

Born in Anillaco to a Carlos Syrian family, Menem was raised as a Muslim, but later converted to Roman Catholicism to pursue a political career.


Carlos became a Peronist during a visit to Buenos Aires. He led the party in his home province of La Rioja, and was elected governor in 1973.

He was deposed and detained during the 1976 Argentine coup d’état, and was elected governor again in 1983.

Carlos defeated the Buenos Aires governor Antonio Cafiero in the primary elections for the 1989 presidential elections, which he won.

Hyperinflation and riots forced outgoing president Raúl Alfonsín to resign early, shortening the presidential transition.

Carlos ran for the presidency again in 2003, but faced with a likely defeat in a ballotage against Néstor Kirchner, he chose to pull out, effectively handing the presidency to Kirchner.

He was elected senator for La Rioja in 2005. When he passed away in 2021 at age 90, he was the oldest living former Argentine president.


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