Trump Admirer Will Be Argentina's Next President

Javier Milei beats Sergio Massa in run-off election
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 19, 2023 10:55 PM CST
Updated Nov 20, 2023 12:00 AM CST
Trump Admirer Wins Argentina's Presidency
Supporters of Javier Milei celebrate his victory over Sergio Massa, the Economy Minister and candidate of the Peronist party, in the presidential runoff election in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023.   (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Populist Javier Milei resoundingly won Argentina's presidential election Sunday, swinging the country to the right following a fiercely polarized campaign in which he promised a dramatic shake-up to the state to deal with soaring inflation and rising poverty, the AP reports. With 99.4% of votes tallied in the presidential runoff, Milei had 55.7% and Economy Minister Sergio Massa 44.3%, according to Argentina's electoral authority. It is the widest victory margin in a presidential race since the South American country's return to democracy in 1983. In the streets of Buenos Aires, drivers honked their horns and many took to the streets to celebrate in several neighborhoods. Outside Milei's party headquarters, a hotel in downtown Buenos Aires, a full-on party kicked off with supporters singing, buying beers from vendors and setting off colored smoke bombs.

They waved Argentine flags and the yellow Gadsden flag, emblazoned with the words "Don't Tread On Me," which Milei's movement has adopted. Inside, the self-described anarcho-capitalist, a far-right politician who admires (and has been compared to) former US President Donald Trump, delivered his victory speech, saying the "reconstruction of Argentina begins today." "Argentina's situation is critical. The changes our country needs are drastic. There is no room for gradualism, no room for lukewarm measures," Milei told supporters, who chanted "Liberty, liberty!" and "Let them all leave" in a reference to the country's political class. Trump, as well as former far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, both congratulated Milei on social media.

Massa of the ruling Peronist party had already conceded defeat, saying Argentines "chose another path." "Starting tomorrow ... guaranteeing the political, social and economic functions is the responsibility of the new president. I hope he does," Massa said. With a Milei victory, the country will take an abrupt shift rightward and a freshman lawmaker who got his start as a television talking head blasting what he called the "political caste" will assume the presidency. Inflation has soared above 140% and poverty has worsened while Massa has held his post. Milei has said he would slash the size of the government, dollarize the economy and eliminate the Central Bank as a way to tackle galloping inflation that he blames on successive governments printing money indiscriminately in order to fund public spending. He also espouses several conservative social policies, including an opposition to sex education in schools and abortion, which Argentina's Congress legalized in 2020.

(Read more Argentina stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.