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Argentina elects its first libertarian president

Economy Minister Sergio Massa has conceded defeat to firebrand Javier Milei

Libertarian economist Javier Milei was elected to become Argentina’s next president on Sunday.

With 86.59% of the votes counted, Milei won with nearly 56%, while his rival in the runoff, Economy Minister Sergio Massa, received 44%. 

Before the official results were announced, Massa conceded defeat in a speech. “The results are not what we expected, and I have contacted Javier Milei to congratulate him and wish him luck,” he said, thanking his supporters. 

“I am a man of democracy and I value nothing more than the verdict of the people. I am confident that tomorrow we can start working with Javier Milei to ensure an orderly transition [of power],” President Alberto Fernandez wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

Milei, a 53-year-old self-described “anarcho-capitalist” who leads the Liberty Advances party, has been compared to former US President Donald Trump due to his sometimes brash and eccentric personality.

During his campaign, Milei made several radical proposals, including the abolishing of the country’s central bank and swapping the Argentine peso for the US dollar as official currency. He also advocated for public spending cuts spending is a way to fix the economy. 

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The voters have been frustrated by the cost-of-living crisis and the triple-digit inflation rate, which over the summer had hit its highest level since the early 1990s. A political outsider, Milei has built his appeal around promises to revive the economy, as Argentina is on track to slip into a recession for the sixth time in a decade.


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