Javier Milei emerges victorious as the President of Argentina, as his opponent, the seasoned Sergio Massa, gracefully conceded defeat on Sunday. Preliminary results indicate that the libertarian outsider, Milei, secured an impressive 56 percent of the votes.
Expressing acceptance of the outcome, Massa, the current Minister of Economic Affairs, stated, “The results are clearly not what we had hoped for. I talked to Javier Milei to congratulate him and wish him all the best because he is the president chosen by the majority of Argentines for the next four years.”
At 53, Milei, an economist from Buenos Aires, Argentina, is set on addressing the country’s severe economic challenges with radical ideas. Argentina grapples with soaring inflation and increasing poverty levels.
Self-identifying as an ‘anarcho-capitalist,’ a fusion of anarchist and capitalist ideologies, Milei, a political newcomer, stood out during the campaign, employing unconventional tactics such as brandishing a chainsaw at meetings to underscore his commitment to austerity measures. Some analysts draw parallels between his approach and that of former U.S. President Donald Trump.
Following news of his victory, a jubilant crowd of supporters gathered at Milei’s campaign office, waving flags and chanting “freedom.” Milei aims to combat inflation by transitioning from the faltering Argentine currency to the U.S. dollar and revamping the country’s central bank. He has also voiced intentions to sever ties with major trading partners China and neighboring Brazil, in addition to criticizing Argentina-based Pope Francis.
Throughout his campaign, Milei advocated for the abolition of certain public services, including the Ministries of Health, Education, and the Environment. He opposes abortion and seeks to ease restrictions on firearm purchases.
In response to Milei’s election, left-wing Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva expressed cautious well-wishes for the newly elected Argentine government without directly mentioning Milei. Conversely, Colombian President Gustavo Petro, a left-wing figure, reacted negatively, stating,
“The far right has won in Argentina. It is the choice of that country. It is sad for Latin America; we will see…”
Former U.S. President Donald Trump, on the other hand, celebrated Milei’s victory, expressing pride and optimism, stating,
“The whole world watched! I’m very proud of you. You will change your country and make Argentina really great again,” on his Truth Social platform. Similarly, Brazilian ex-president Jair Bolsonaro welcomed Milei’s win, declaring, “There is hope in South America again.”