Argentines on Sunday chose Javier Milei, a far-Right libertarian who has drawn comparisons to Donald Trump, as their next President, a lurch to the Right for a nation struggling under an economic crisis and a sign of the enduring strength of the global far-Right.
Milei, 53, an economist and former television personality with little political experience, burst onto the traditionally closed Argentine political scene with a brash style, an embrace of conspiracy theories and a series of extreme proposals he said were needed to upend a broken economy and government.
Milei drew 56 per cent of the vote, with 95 per cent of the ballots counted, defeating Sergio Massa, Argentina’s Centre-Left economy minister, who had 44 per cent. Massa, 51, conceded defeat even before official results were released.
Milei has pledged to slash spending and taxes, close Argentina’s central bank and replace the nation’s currency with the US dollar. He has also proposed banning abortion, loosening regulations on guns and considering only countries that want to “fight against socialism” as Argentina’s allies, often naming the US and Israel as examples.
In his victory speech, he attacked the political “caste” that he says has enriched themselves at the expense of average Argentines, saying “today is the end to Argentine decadence”. But he also offered an olive branch.
“I want to tell all Argentines and all political leaders and all those who want to join the new Argentina: You’re going to be welcome,” he said.
Milei’s election is a victory for the global far-Right movement that gained strength with the election of Trump and similar politicians, among them Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, although it has faltered in recent years with electoral losses.
Bolsonaro and Spain’s far-Right Vox party have cheered on Milei.
New York Times News Service