Argentina Election: Javier Milei’s Victory Thrusts Country Into Uncharted Waters
Javier Milei, a volatile far-right libertarian who is often compared to Donald Trump, has been elected the President of Argentina, ushering in a future of unpredictability and potential turbulence for the second largest economy in South America.
With more than 99% of votes counted, Milei had secured 55.69% of the vote compared to 44.3% for his rival, the centre-left Finance Minister Sergio Massa. Milei promised “drastic changes” to fight the country’s “tragic reality” of soaring inflation and widespread poverty.
“Argentinians Have Chosen Another Path”
Massa, who received 11.5 million votes to his rival’s 14.4 million – has conceded defeat. He said he had spoken to Milei to congratulate him on his victory and would retire from frontline politics, noting “Argentinians have chosen another path.”
Milei will take office on December 10. During his campaign, he promised to abolish the central bank and dollarise the economy in an effort to tackle a financial calamity that has pushed 40% of Argentina’s 45 million people into poverty and inflation to more than 140%.
The President-elect’s left-wing opponents reacted with shock to the election of a notoriously erratic figure whose radical ideas include legalising the sale of organs, cutting ties with Argentina’s two biggest trade partners – Brazil and China, and closing several ministries.
Big Beasts Of Global Far-Right Celebrate
Milei called his victory a “miracle”, highlighting “today the reconstruction of Argentina begins”. But on the eve of Sunday’s election, Federico Finchelstein, an Argentinian historian who studies the global far right, said: “It is highly unpredictable what this person could do.”
Milei’s victory was celebrated by Brazil’s former President Jair Bolsonaro and other big beasts of the global far-right. US’s Donald Trump said: “You will turn your country around and truly Make Argentina Great Again.” Billionaire Elon Musk also celebrated Milei’s win in the election.