Argentina on Sunday elected right-wing libertarian Javier Milei as its new President – rolling the dice on an outsider with radical views. According to official results, Milei won 56 per cent of votes as compared to his rival opponent Peronist economy minister Sergio Massa who conceded after getting 44 per cent of votes.
Milei’s win has shaken up Argentina‘s political landscape and economic roadmap and is likely to impact trade in grains and lithium as he has previously criticised China and Brazil saying he “won’t deal with communists”. Despite this, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva extended best wishes to the newly elected government in Argentina.
“I wish good luck and success to the new government. Argentina is a great country and deserves all our respect. Brazil will always be available to work together with our Argentine brothers,” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
According to Argentines, voting for Milei was a “choice of the lesser evil”.
Who is Javier Milei, Argentina’s new President?
- Born on October 22, 1970, Javier Milei has been described as populist, right-wing libertarian, ultraconservative, far-right, and ultraliberal. However, he identifies as a liberal libertarian, aligning specifically with minarchist and anarcho-capitalist principles.
- Milei is pledging economic shock therapy as he has plans to abolish the Central Bank of Argentina which would result in a de facto dollarised economy and a comprehensive overhaul of the country’s fiscal and structural policies. He strongly opposes abortion – even in cases of rape. Melei has earlier suggested a referendum to reconsider the 2020 law (Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy Bill) that legalised abortion.
- Melei has also criticised comprehensive sex education and calls it a form of “brainwashing”. He supports civilian firearm ownership, proposed to legalise the sale of human organs, and promotes the far-right cultural Marxism conspiracy theory.
- He is a member of the B20 – the economic policy group of the International Chamber of Commerce, and the World Economic Forum. He has previously worked at a private company where he served as the chief economist and financial adviser to businessman Eduardo Eurnekian.
- He has also written several books and has a notable presence on television. He has previously hosted his own radio show ‘Demoliendo mitos’ that features politicians, economists, and businessmen.
(With inputs from agencies)