ColombiaOne.comPoliticsJavier Milei Wins Argentina Presidential Election

Javier Milei Wins Argentina Presidential Election


Javier Milei is elected Argentina president
Javier Milei was the big winner of Argentina’s Presidential Election. – Photo: Vox Espana / Public Domain

Javier Milei is the winner of the presidential election in Argentina. Known for his libertarian views, Milei will be president, starting December 10th. In this Sunday’s elections, Milei defeated Sergio Massa, the current Minister of Economy and the official candidate of Peronism, who acknowledged defeat even before the official results were known.

“Javier Milei is the president,” said Massa from his headquarters. He made the announcement accompanied by his main campaign allies, including his running mate, Agustín Rossi. Later, with 100% of the votes counted, Massa stated that he had communicated with Milei to congratulate him on the victory.

“I contacted Javier Milei, the president chosen by the majority of Argentinians for the next 4 years, congratulated him, wished him luck, and proposed to start mechanisms of liaison and transition of government change tomorrow, for the normal economic, social, political, and institutional functioning,” said the current Minister of Finance and loser of the electoral night, to his supporters.

The rupture prevails in Argentina

With a turnout of over 76%, the count confirmed Milei’s wide victory with almost 56% of the votes against 44% for Massa. The future president, an economist by training, has been gaining support among the population thanks to his radical and anti-system proposals.

After years of severe economic crises, with runaway annual inflations of up to 140%, and pessimism about the immediate future, the Argentine electorate has had enough. The surprising result of the official candidate, Sergio Massa, in the first round of October, was not repeated in the runoff. Milei, an eccentric politician who admires the styles of Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, has clearly won the vote and will be president.

For this second vote, Milei received the support of Argentina’s traditional right-wing, articulated by the candidate Patricia Bullrich and former president Macri, who preferred to ask for a vote for an anti-system candidate like Milei, rather than remain neutral in a vote where he had no candidate.

Many Argentinians’ disenchantment with traditional parties contributed to the victory of the newcomer, who triumphed with disruptive proposals in the economic field as well as his aggressive style and controversial statements that have even labeled the Catholic pope, the Argentine Francisco, as a devil’s envoy.

The eccentric newcomer who will be president

Javier Milei
Javier Milei addressing a crowd. Credit: Vox Espana / Public domain

Javier Milei, 53 years old, arrived in the Argentine Chamber of Deputies just two years ago. In this short time, he has managed to get elected president of an exhausted country, with strong proposals such as dollarizing the national economy, and therefore closing the Central Bank, as well as privatizing public companies.

From an economic point of view, Milei represents an ultra-liberal, but with aggressive and challenging language towards the representatives of the economic system. During his campaign, he launched controversial ideas such as allowing the carrying of weapons in Argentina and the sale of organs, and criticized public education and health.

However, his direct criticism of the traditional sectors of Argentine politics, whom he derogatorily calls “the caste,” has been what has connected him with younger voters, dissatisfied with the current state of affairs in the country. It is precisely this anti-system language, politically unapologetic and disruptive, that has seduced a significant part of the electorate that has lost trust in parties of the traditional left and right, whom he holds responsible for the country’s ruin.

“We have managed to build this competitive alternative that will not only end Kirchnerism but will also end the parasitic, thieving, and useless political caste in this country,” Milei said during the campaign.

Proposals to “blow up the system”

The strident Milei has maintained aggressive language in his over two years of campaigning, starting a career linked to the media. The country’s complex economic situation has been his main electoral asset. Among his first measures, in line with his concept of minimizing the State, is the elimination of most ministries. In this sense, Milei proposed reducing from the current 18 departments to 8.

Similarly, among his most striking proposals is the elimination of up to 90% of taxes. Politically, he has declared himself an “anarcho-capitalist,” even proposing to break relations with his main commercial partners, countries like China and Brazil, because, according to his criteria, he does not want “deals with communists.”

Regarding security, overshadowed by the acute economic crisis but always present in Latin America, Milei proposes militarizing prisons, lowering the age of criminal responsibility for minors, as well as prohibiting the entry of foreigners with criminal records, and one of the most controversial: deregulating the arms market, to legalize carrying.

Reactions in Colombia

Reactions in Colombia have been immediate. President Gustavo Petro wrote on his social networks that “the far-right has won in Argentina; it is the decision of its society. Sad for Latin America and we will see.” In addition, the Colombian president has taken advantage of the victory of an anti-system to state that “neoliberalism no longer has a proposal for society, it cannot respond to the current problems of humanity.”

For his part, the former president of Colombia Iván Duque (2018-2022) wrote after his congratulations to Javier Milei that “Democracy triumphed and populism, demagoguery, and the Grupo de Puebla were defeated,” referring to the Latin American political forum formed by representatives of the regional left.

Finally, the senator of the conservative Centro Democrático, María Fernanda Cabal, a sharp opponent of the Petro government, has also expressed herself. “Common sense, common sense, the hope of a rebirth for Argentina has won.” Cabal, who has been characterized by publicly supporting political positions and forms like those of Milei, has taken the opportunity to launch one of her usual proclamations against the continental left. “Bravo! Once again the predatory left of Latin America is defeated,” concludes the opposition senator.

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