Javier Milei becomes the president of Argentina. Opposing candidate Sergio Massa admitted defeat on Sunday. According to preliminary results, the libertarian outsider Milei received 56 percent of the votes.
“The results are clearly not what we had hoped for,” said Massa, the current economy minister. “I spoke to Javier Milei to congratulate him and wish him the best. Because he is the president that the majority of Argentinians have elected for the next four years.”
53-year-old Milei wants to solve the serious economic problems with radical ideas. The country is suffering from sky-high inflation and growing poverty.
Milei is an economist from the Argentine capital Buenos Aires. He calls himself an ‘anarcho-capitalist’, a combination of an anarchist and capitalist. He is a newcomer to politics and stood out during the campaign by, for example, appearing at meetings with a chainsaw. In this way he wanted to strengthen his plans for cuts. Some analysts compared his approach to that of former American President Donald Trump.
After news of his victory, thousands of supporters gathered at his campaign office. The partying crowd waved flags and chanted “freedom.” Milei wants to fight inflation by exchanging Argentina’s ailing currency for the US dollar and abolishing the country’s central bank. He has also threatened to cut ties with major trading partners China and neighboring Brazil. He also insulted Pope Francis from Argentina.
Milei said during his campaign that he wants to abolish a number of public services, such as the ministries of Health, Education and the Environment. He is against abortion and wants to make it easier to purchase firearms.
Surrounding countries react differently to victory
Left-wing President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of neighboring Brazil reacted cautiously to Milei’s election. He wished Argentina’s newly elected government good luck and success, but did not mention Milei by name. During his campaign, Milei had strongly criticized the Brazilian president, calling him, among other things, an “angry communist”.
Colombian President Gustavo Petro, who is also left-wing, responded downright negatively to the outcome. “The far right won in Argentina. It is that country’s choice. Sad for Latin America, we will see…”
But former American President Trump reacted happily to the news. “The whole world was watching! I am very proud of you. You will change your country and make Argentina truly great again,” he wrote on his platform Truth Social.
Brazilian ex-president Jair Bolsonaro is also happy with Milei’s profit. “There is hope again in South America,” he said in response.