Javier Milei, the candidate of the Liberty Advances far-right libertarian party, was victorious in the second round of presidential elections in Argentina held on November 19. With 99 percent of the votes counted, Milei had scored 55.69 percent of the vote, while his opponent, Sergio Massa of the center-left Union for the Homeland coalition, trailed with 44.3 percent. Milei will take office as president on December 10.
In his victory speech, Milei told supporters, “The situation in Argentina is critical. There is no space for [gradualism] nor for lukewarmness or ambiguities… If we don’t advance rapidly with the structural changes that Argentina needs, we will face the worst crisis in our history.”
Massa addressed supporters at the Union for the Homeland bunker after congratulating Milei. He stated, “There were two paths. We chose to promote and defend education and public health, security and the state, the national industry, work, [small and medium enterprises], workers with their rights, and national unity. I continue to believe that Argentina needs to agree on state policies.”
Milei’s victory has sent a shockwave across Argentina’s left, which fears that many of the country’s hard-won victories like free health care and higher education will be attacked by a Milei government. Furthermore, they worry that Milei’s determination to cut public spending in addition to his promise to dollarize the economy and dissolve the central bank, will send Argentina’s struggling economy into a tailspin. In 2022, Argentina registered over 100 percent inflation. The poverty rate currently stands at 40 percent.