Javier Milei, a far-right populist is the winner of Argentina’s presidential election. His victory, with over 55% of the votes and the victory margin since the country’s return to democracy in 1983, a shift in Argentina’s politics.
Javier Milei emerged as an outsider with a anti-establishment campaign that drew parallels to former U.S. President Donald Trump.
His victory represents a rebuke to traditional parties that have presided over decades of economic decline in Argentina, by soaring inflation rates and rising poverty.
The presidential race was polarized, with Javier Milei positioning himself as a champion of change against the ruling Peronist party, led by Economy Minister Sergio Massa.
Massa, a centrist member of the administration, conceded defeat even before the official results were announced, acknowledging Milei as the president-elect for the next four years.
Provisional results indicate that Milei secured over 55% of the votes (13,781,154) with more than 94% of the votes counted, according to the National Electoral Chamber.
This victory has sparked celebrations across Buenos Aires, where Javier Milei’s supporters gathered outside the party headquarters, waving Argentine flags and adopting the slogan “¡¡Qué se vayan todos!!” (“May they all leave!”), expressing frustration with politicians.
Javier Milei’s campaign by a call to “break up with the status quo,” promises changes for Argentina. One of his most controversial proposals is the dollarization of the Argentine economy, a move for a country of Argentina’s size.
This would involve relinquishing control over monetary policy to decision-makers in Washington, a bold step that has surprised globally.
The president-elect, known for his ties to the American right, holds socially conservative views, opposing abortion rights and dismissing climate change as a “lie of socialism.”
His plan to slash government spending includes the closure of ministries of culture, education, and diversity, as well as the elimination of public subsidies.
These proposals align with a tough-on-crime approach, advocating for the transfer of authority over the penitentiary system from civilians to the military.
Javier Milei’s political ascent has not been without controversy. He faced backlash for advocating a market for organ transplants, a position he later retracted.
Additionally, he apologized for referring to Pope Francis, an icon of politics in South America, as “an envoy of Satan” in 2017. With former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro endorsing his candidacy.
The election marked a departure from the tradition of non-intervention, as leftist leaders in the region, including Brazil’s Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Colombia’s Gustavo Petro, backed Massa in the run-up to the election.
Javier Milei’s victory has drawn parallels to the political strategies of Donald Trump, evident in his campaign slogan “Make Argentina great again!” Trump expressed pride in Milei’s win.
Javier Milei advocates for slashing regulations on gun control, supporting private education with public funds, and even privatizing the health sector, a departure from Argentina’s tradition of public healthcare.
The fierce campaign saw Javier Milei tempering some of his more radical proposals, such as loosening gun control, in response to concerns by opponents.
Despite the controversies and a divisive campaign, Javier Milei’s core message resonated with a portion of the electorate, particularly among those frustrated with the economic challenges and perceived political corruption.
As Argentina braces for this political shift, questions arise about the feasibility of Milei’s ambitious agenda.
With limited political firepower in congress, where his party controls only a fraction of the seats, Milei may face resistance from social movements and traditional politicians.
Analysts speculate that figures like former President Mauricio Macri could play a role in moderating some of the more extreme policy proposals.
International economists and leaders have expressed concerns about the economic impact of Milei’s presidency.
Over 100 leading economists warned of economic “devastation” and social chaos, addressing the need for careful consideration of policy decisions.
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