Barely 48 hours before the death of General Juan Peron was announced, his wife -- Senora Maria Estela Peron -- was sworn in as Argentina's Head of State on Saturday afternoon (29 June).
Barely 48 hours before the death of General Juan Peron was announced, his wife -- Senora Maria Estela Peron -- was sworn in as Argentina's Head of State on Saturday afternoon (29 June). At that time the condition of General Peron was still being described as serious, but showing some sign of improvement. But on Monday (1 July) his death was reported officially.
Senora Peron, who had previously been the Vice President, thereby became the World's first woman President, at 43, and the youngest Head of State in Latin America.
Within hours, she had received pledges of support form the country's major power groups, including the armed forces. The constitutional hand-over was even approved by the left-wing Peronist Youth Movement and also the Montoneros Groups of ex-guerrillas, who dislike Senora Peron personally, because they believe she is under the influence of right-wing factions.
The swearing-in ceremony was broadcast over television and radio, and in a short speech, Senora Peron said that her husband was "conscious that his state of health prevents him form directly attending to Government affairs until his recovery".
Senora Peron, who was a dance before her marriage, is the fifth President the country has had in less than fourteen months. Until 25 May last year, the Presidency was occupied by army General Alejandro Lanusse, the last of three leaders of the Military Government which had ruled since 1966.
He was succeeded by Dr. Hector Campora, the Peronist candidate who won the general election April 1973. He stepped down seven weeks later to clear the way for an interim President, Senor Raul Lastiri, who handed the Presidential sash to General Peron on 12 October, after the General had won the new election with 62 per cent of the popular vote.
General Peron was 78, and he had been ill for two weeks with what had officially been described as a bronchial infection. His doctors said that the seriousness of the infection had "caused a recurrence of an old central circulatory ailment". There were reports that his heart had been seriously weakened.
SYNOPSIS: Throughout President Juan Peron's fatal illness, as strong armed guard was maintained on his Presidential residence in Bueng??? Aires, capital of Argentina. Inside, the seventy-eight year old President was fighting a losing battle for his life. Many Argentineans feared that the power vacuum caused by h..s illness would lead to open strife between the left-wing and right-wing factions of his party.
Because of the seriousness of his illness, the President agreed that his wife and Vice-President agreed that his wife and Vice-President -- Senora Maria Estela Peron -- should take over the Presidency. She was sworn in on Saturday afternoon, and the ceremony was broadcast to the nation over television and radio, Senora Peron thereby became the world's first woman President, and at forty-three, the youngest Head of State in Latin America. Within hours, the country's major power groups-- including the Army -- had pledged her their support.
Senora Peron, who was a dancer before her marriage, is the fifth President Argentina has had in less than fourteen months, Barely forty-eight hours later, she was to make another broadcast to her people, announcing the death of her husband, and appealing to friends and opponents to lay aside their personal passions.