Fiery populist Milei wins Argentine Presidential polls
BUENOS AIRES: Populist Javier Milei resoundingly won Argentina’s presidential election on Sunday, swinging the country to the right following a fiercely polarised campaign in which he promised a dramatic shake-up to the state to deal with soaring inflation and rising poverty. With 99.4 per cent of votes tallied in the presidential runoff, Milei had 55.7 per cent and Economy Minister Sergio Massa 44.3 per cent, 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. The self-described anarcho-capitalist who has been compared to former US President Donald Trump, delivered his victory speech in his party headquarters, he said 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. 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. Milei’s screeds resonated widely with Argentines angered by their struggle to make ends meet.