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History, Elected Presidents

Arturo Illia, Frondizi, Peronism, LAFTA, total vote

The constituent assembly, which opened in Santa Fe in September, unanimously readopted the constitution of 1853 after the Intransigent Radicals and some others withdrew. When general elections were held in February 1958, Frondizi won the presidency with Peronist and Communist support, and his Intransigent Radical Party won a majority in the legislature. Representative government was restored on May 1.

Despite labor unrest and continual rises in living costs, a degree of economic stability was achieved in early 1959 with the aid of substantial foreign loans and credits; by 1960, loans from U.S. public and private agencies alone amounted to $1 billion. Argentinaís participation in the Latin American Free Trade Association (LAFTA), founded in 1960, helped foster a growing trade with other countries in the region from 1960 to 1980.

Frondiziís popularity declined markedly throughout 1961. In elections held in March 1962, Peronistas, again permitted electoral participation, polled about 35 percent of the total vote. Although Frondizi forbade five successful Peronist candidates from assuming the provincial governorships they had won, he was deposed at the end of the month by military leaders critical of his leniency toward Peronism. Jose Maria Guido, as president of the Senate, became Frondiziís constitutional successor.

His government, however, was dominated by the armed forces. Both Peronistas and Communists were barred from the national elections of July 1963, in which Arturo Illia, a moderate of the Peopleís Radical Party, was elected president. Illia announced a program of national recovery and regulation of foreign investment and tried to control rising prices, shortages, and labor unrest by fixing prices and setting minimum-wage laws.

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