By Linda Bordoni
In the wake of General Elections on 27 October, the bishops of Argentina have released a statement in which they call for the consolidation of democracy and a renewed commitment to integral development.
The bishops pledge to walk with their people in this crucial time at the beginning of a new period of democracy, and ask the leaders to promote democracy and integral development by guaranteeing access to work, health and quality education for all.
Severe economic crisis
Centre-left candidate Alberto Fernández was elected president of Argentina in a vote dominated by economic concerns and a crisis that has left a third of Argentina's population in poverty.
The bishops say that leaders have the responsibility to promote the intrinsic dignity of every human being and to tackle the great challenges of poverty, exclusion and inequality.
They note that the country requires a renewed effort on the part of all parties to engage in sincere dialogue in order to be able to overcome strife and achieve the agreement and consensus needed to implement new policies.
Appeal to new leaders
Stressing the need to address, in particular, the economic hardship afflicting such a large percentage of the population, the bishops also highlight new social needs arising both from situations of marginalization and from the reality of some human lives who feel they “have lost meaning and can no longer recognize the beauty of existence and of the world”.
The bishops warn against the temptation and crime of corruption and urge new leaders to strengthen democracy with firm ethical governance at all levels of society.
Appeal to citizens
Finally they call on citizens who, they say, notwithstanding some discrepancies, are asked to join in a common project and reject all forms of violence to be able to build a better world based on solidarity and fraternity.
Analysts point out that outgoing President Mauricio Macri has left the newly elected Alberto Fernandez with a mess not all that much different than the one Fernandez’s vice president, Cristina Kirchner, left for Macri when he came to power in 2015.