Javier Milei, a far-right libertarian who burst onto Argentina´s political scene with eccentric and radical proposals, beat Economy Minister Sergio Massa in Sunday´s runoff elections.
With 95% of the votes counted, Milei has secured nearly 56% compared to Massa’s 44%.
Milei, who has been compared to former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and former US President Donald Trump, rocked Argentina's politics after winning the most votes in the presidential primary in August.
The 53-year-old politician, who uses anti-system, inflammatory rhetoric and expresses himself with an aggressive tone, has pledged to dollarize the economy, shutting down the central bank and cutting massive public spending in order to overcome a financial calamity that has pushed inflation to more than 140%.
The far-right economist and former television personality erupted on the political scene with his leather jacket, wild black hair and a series of conspiracy theories and extreme proposals that managed to attract the votes of millions of Argentines who are frustrated by the ruling Peronist party that has governed the country for decades.
Armed with a chainsaw, he called to “exterminate the political caste,” which he accuses of the perpetual economic crisis that is devastating Argentina. He has proposed banning abortion, creating a market for human organs and loosening regulations on guns.
Although Massa won 36.7% of the vote compared to some 30% for Milei in the first-round vote in October, Milei had since won public backing from the conservative former Security Minister Patricia Bullrich, who placed third and who had previously said that Milei’s proposals were “dangerous.”
Massa, the center-left economy minister, who has failed to resolve the country’s worst economic crisis in two decades, conceded defeat in a speech.
“Argentines have chosen another path,” he said.
“Obviously these are not the results we hoped for, and I have spoken to Javier Milei to congratulate him because he’s the president that the majority of Argentines have chosen for the next four years.”
Milei will replace Alberto Fernandez in the Casa Rosada starting on Dec. 10.