New Argentinean President Mauricio Macri inherited many of his predecessor's difficulties, but Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner isn't leaving quietly. Refusing to give up the presidential Twitter was just one part of it.
Argentina's now former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was determined to hold on to the limelight as long as possible. She refused on Thursday to attend the inauguration of her successor, Mauricio Macri, and hijacked the presidential Twitter account.
Instead of being described as the official account of the Casa Rosada, the presidential palace in Buenos Aires, the Twitter account was renamed "Casa Rosada2003-2015," and the biography section read "a Twitter tribute to Presidents Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Kirchner from May 2003 to December 2015," referring also to time she and her late husband, who was president from 2003 to 2007, governed from the president's office.
"It wasn't magic…it was magical," read a Tweet pinned to the top of the @casarosadaar account.
Argument over exchange of presidential baton
The clamor began over a week ago when Fernandez and Macri started feuding over the official transfer of power, including handing over the presidential sash and baton. Center-right Macri was of the opinion that the ceremony should happen at the presidential offices in the Casa Rosada, as was done before 2003. Left-leaning Fernandez instead said it should take place in Congress, as it's a constitutional affair.
Adding fuel to the fire was, according to Bloomberg news, Fernandez's rush in her last days in office to hire as many people as possible, increase budgetary spending and name as many ambassadors as she could.
To settle the matter of the handover, and to stop her spending, Macri took to the courts to see if Fernandez's mandate could be ended earlier. Federal Judge Maria Servini de Cubria sided with Macri, effectively ending the Fernandez presidency at midnight on Wednesday. Senate leader Federico Pinedo served as interim president until Macri's swearing-in at noon on Thursday.
Fernandez subsequently refused to attend Macri's swearing-in.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Twitter hashtag #CFKVerguenzaMundial or "Ms Fernandez's world shame" began trending across Argentina.
First elected female president
Fernandez rose to promise as Argentina's first lady in 2003, before running for the presidency herself in 2007, making her the country's first female president elected outright. It was widely rumored that the Kirchners planned to get around the country's term limits by alternating presidencies, but Nestor Kirchner passed away in 2010.
One of Fernandez's final acts as president was to see an enormous statue of her husband installed prominently in the Casa Rosada's hall of busts.
The Kirchners attempted to create a cult of personality around the narrative that they were protecting Argentina from foreign interests, particularly the United States, though Fernandez never elaborated on her claims that outside powers were trying to destabilize Argentina. They also worked closely with socialist leaders in Latin America, such as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.
Their leadership was dominated by progressive social policy, such as spending on welfare and legalizing gay marriage, but was marred by allegations of cronyism and corruption.
Thousands gather to say goodbye
In her final speech before leaving office on Wednesday night, thousands of her supporters gathered in the Plaza de Mayo in downtown Buenos Aires, where she blamed the handover tiff on Macri.
"I can't talk much because after midnight I'll turn into a pumpkin," Fernandez laughed. Her final speech lauded the accomplishments of her and her husband's administration, before slamming Macri and his free-market platform.
On Thursday she took to Twitter again to mock the poor turnout for his inauguration:
With her determination to remain relevant undeniable, the world may likely see Fernandez vying to get back in the Casa Rosada once more when Argentina votes again in 2019.