Libertarian outsider Javier Milei pulled off a massive upset Sunday with a resounding win in Argentina’s presidential election, plunging the country into uncertainty in the midst of a crippling economic crisis.
According to international media reports, the self-described “anarcho-capitalist” fired up Argentines fed-up with decades of economic stagnation under the long-dominant populist Peronist coalition.
While polls had predicted a tight race, provisional results showed Milei had won with 55.7 per cent of the vote to 44pc scored by his rival, the Economy Minister Sergio Massa, who rapidly conceded defeat.
Thousands of Milei supporters waved flags and chanted “freedom” as they celebrated outside his campaign headquarters.
Milei, a 53-year-old economist with wild hair and thick sideburns, has drawn comparisons with former US president Donald Trump and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro for his abrasive style and controversial remarks.
His main platform has been a plan to ditch the ailing peso for the US dollar and “dynamite” the Central Bank to do away with the “cancer of inflation.”
Milei is against abortion, pro-gun, vowed to cut ties with Argentina’s key trading partners China and Brazil, insulted Pope Francis, questioned the death toll under Argentina’s brutal dictatorship, and says humans are not behind climate change.