Argentina on 19 November 2023 elected right-wing libertarian Javier Milei as its new president. Milei, who had ridden a wave of voter anger with the political mainstream, won by a wider-than-expected margin of votes.
Argentina’s General elections were held on 22 October 2023 to elect the president, vice president, members of the national congress, and the governors of most provinces. As no presidential candidate won a majority in the first round, a runoff was held on 19 November, in which Javier Milei got 56 % of the votes and defeated Sergio Massa received 44% votes.
The economy of Argentina has been battered by triple-digit inflation, a looming recession, and rising poverty. It would be interesting to see what Javier Milei’s Presidency brings to the country.
Who is Javier Milei?
Javier Milei is a 53-year-old man who has won the Argentina Presidential position by securing 56% votes. A few years back, Milei was a prominent expert featured on TV news shows, who critiqued the lack of fiscal discipline and condemned the political class for failing to improve the economic condition of the masses in Argentina.
But in 2021, he took the political plunge and was elected as a lawmaker, on the symbol of his own political party – Libertad Avanza (Freedom Advances). In August 2023, he shocked political pundits in Argentina by emerging as the candidate with the highest vote share in the primary election.
He secured 30.5 percent of the votes, higher compared to 28 percent bagged by the main conservative coalition and 27 percent secured by the ruling Peronist coalition.
In the run-up to the presidential poll contest, Milei drew headlines the world over with his “anarcho-capitalist” views. He has proposed to replace the local currency peso with the US dollar and eliminate the central bank in a bid to prevent politicians from “printing more money”.
The polarised run-off elections between Economy Minister Sergio Massa and far-right libertarian radical Javier Milei was very interesting keeping every civilian excited for the final results.
What attracted the Argentina civilians most was his promise to tighten the fiscal expenditures – seen by critics as a tight overhaul of the welfare schemes – but has gone a step further by promising to scrap the local currency and shutting down the central bank.
A music-lover, Milei was the lead singer of a Rolling Stones cover band called Everest and, according to Lemoine, also enjoys Bob Marley and Verdi. He is a well-known personality in Argentina even before contesting the elections.
The Argentinean people are stuck in economic misery. They want change in the banking system, and currency, and freedom from corruption and political mismanagement.
Javier Milei made solid promises to the people which made them fall for his Presidential candidacy and ultimately made him the president of Argentina. He will take office from 10 December 2023.