After nearly a year of self imposed exile the former President of Argentina is back on home turf to stage a political comeback. Carlos Menem has been living in Chile to elude two arrest warrants for corruption and tax evasion. His return was spurred by their withdrawal last week. Despite low popularity ratings the 74 year old has made plain he plans to run for president in 2007.
At a rally hours after his arrival, he wasted no time in laying into the current leadership: “So who can come and say this is a fair government, the one we currently have, how could it be just, it’s a government that unfortunately has attacked those who suffer the most, the most humble, those who are in the greatest need.” Though Menem is credited for pushing through free market reforms during his time in office, he is also blamed for lavish public borrowing and spending that brought Argentina to economic crisis in 2001.