Raúl López Modelo

Portrait of Raúl López Modelo

__th President of Argentina
May 1, 2004 - April 30, 2012

Predecessor Eduardo Duhalde
Successor Daniel Scioli
Vice President Ricardo Alfonsín

Senator for Santa Fe Province
May 1, 1988 - April 30, 2004

3rd President of the Liberal Democratic Party

Predecessor Enrique Sevanino
Successor Patricia Bullrich
Born December 8, 1949
Santa Fe, Argentina
Spouse Isabel Mártinez Schwartz
Political Party Liberal Democrat
Profession Politician

Raúl Antonio López Modelo (born December 8, 1949) is an Argentinean politician who served as President of Argentina from 2004 until 2012, when he was succeeded by Daniel Scioli. López is a member of the Party for Liberal Democracy and is, since the 1988 return to democracy, the only Argentinean President to be come from a party on the right and the first to be elected directly from the Senate (and is, in fact, the only sitting Senator in Argentinean history to be elected President while still in office).

As President, López's economic platform was focused on diversifying the Argentinean economy and opening up labor markets, a program he referred to as "New Tomorrow." He decreased the size of the Argentinean army while upgrading the navy and air force, and extended government aid to farmers during a 2006 drought. Due to his popularity, he won a surprising one-off election in 2008 by 54.4% in the first round, considered a landslide by Argentinean standards. López denationalized many major companies and his policies were generally described as neoliberal, in particular by opponents within labor unions. In the foreign sphere, López was much more committed than his predecessors to pursuing better relationships with Argentina's neighbors as well as foreign nations in Asia and Africa.

Towards the end of his first term, Argentina surpassed Colombia as South America's fastest-growing economy for the first time since the 1940's, and Argentina surpassed both Brazil and Chile to become Latin America's second-largest economy. López signed seven free trade agreements and is an advocate for a new economic union such as the defunct League of South American Nations, although he opposes a common currency as has been suggested by Chilean and Peruvian politicians.