Javier Milei, a far-right figure known for his television commentary, has emerged victorious in Argentina’s presidential election, securing a landslide majority over his rival, Sergio Massa.
Massa conceded defeat, congratulating Milei even before the results were announced.
Argentina’s National Electoral Chamber reported that the preliminary count showed Milei with over 55% of the vote, with 94% of the ballots counted.
In his victory speech, Milei, 53, declared, “Today marks the commencement of Argentina’s reconstruction. It is a historic evening for our nation,” addressing a crowd of enthusiastic supporters in Buenos Aires.
Milei’s triumph underscores his rapid ascent from punditry to leading the nation, as he vows to overhaul the established political system epitomized by Massa.
His controversial proposal to dollarize the Argentine economy could propel the nation into uncharted waters, as no country of Argentina’s stature has previously relinquished control of its monetary policy to external authorities.
Milei, echoing Donald Trump’s style, resonated with voters through his unconventional approach and promise to shake up the status quo.
Trump lauded Milei’s win on his social media, stating, “The whole world was watching! I am very proud of you. You will turn your country around and truly Make Argentina Great Again.”
Known for his social conservatism and alignment with American right-wing politics, Milei’s policies include staunch opposition to abortion, denial of climate change as a fabrication, and a commitment to slash government spending by eliminating several ministries and cutting public funding.
Further augmenting his right-wing agenda, Milei advocates for less stringent gun laws, militarization of the penitentiary system, and privatization initiatives in education and healthcare.
Despite facing backlash for contentious remarks, including a retracted statement in which he expressed favor for opening a market for organ transplants, as well as a controversial comment about Pope Francis, Milei’s core supporters remain steadfast.
Milei’s ascendancy marks a pivotal moment that the international community will observe with keen interest, as it could signify a revival of far-right populism in Latin America.
Figures like former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro endorsed his candidacy, while left-leaning leaders supported Massa.
“Hope is once again gleaming in South America,” Bolsonaro wrote on X, celebrating what he termed a triumph for “honesty, progress, and freedom.”