After winning the election on Sunday, Milei, often compared to former United States President Donald Trump, promised drastic changes for Argentina.
In a historic turn of events on November 19, Bitcoin-friendly presidential aspirant Javier Milei secured victory in Argentina’s presidential run-off election, defeating his opponent Sergio Massa with 55% of the votes and establishing a significant lead of almost 3 million votes.
The win comes amidst Argentina’s prolonged struggle with a severe inflation crisis, marked by the Argentine peso’s alarming 140% increase in annual inflation over the past year.
Milei, a vocal critic of the country’s central bank and a staunch supporter of Bitcoin (BTC), had previously won the country’s primary elections in August with 30.73% of the total votes. This victory surpassed his opponents from the “Juntos por el Cambio” (Together for Change) party and the “Unidos por la Patria” (United for the Homeland) coalition, who garnered 28.14% and 26.84% of the votes, respectively, at the time.
Despite failing against his opponent Massa during the first round of the Argentine presidential election in October, the BTC proponent emerged as the country’s president-elect with 55% of the votes. According to Bloomberg data, Massa, who won during the October race, now trails behind with just 44.3% of the total votes. The country’s electoral authority said this margin represents the highest percentage a presidential candidate has received since the South American country returned to democracy in 1983.
A Significant Shift in Argentina’s Political Landscape
The election outcome signals a significant shift to the right for Argentina, with Milei, a self-described anarcho-capitalist, and a freshman lawmaker, set to assume the presidency on December 10.
While Milei has expressed his support for BTC as a movement towards returning control of money to the private sector, he has not indicated any intention of making the crypto asset a legal tender to be used alongside the country’s fiat currency in exchange for goods and services.
In contrast, Massa, the current Minister of Economy, who conceded defeat after over 90% of the votes were counted, holds opposing views. Massa pledged to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in October to solve Argentina’s persistent inflation crisis.
Milei’s Vision for Change
After winning the election on Sunday, Milei, often compared to former United States President Donald Trump, promised drastic changes for Argentina. In his victory speech, the popular BTC proponent stated, “The reconstruction of Argentina begins today,” emphasizing the need for immediate and substantial reforms.
“Argentina’s situation is critical. The changes our country needs are drastic. There is no room for gradualism, no room for lukewarm measures,” Milei told supporters, who responded with chants of “Liberty, liberty!” and “Let them all leave,” in reference to the country’s political class.
His proposed measures include:
- Reducing the size of the government.
- Dollarizing the economy.
- Eliminating the Central Bank to address inflation attributed to excessive money printing by successive governments.
The celebrations that erupted in Buenos Aires following Milei’s victory were marked by supporters waving Argentine flags and the yellow Gadsden flag, symbolizing the principles of Milei’s movement. Supporters expressed their hope for change, echoing Milei’s calls for a departure from traditional politics.
International figures, including United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the country’s former President Donald Trump, congratulated Milei on his victory, acknowledging the global significance of the election.
“The whole world was watching! I am very proud of you. You will turn your country around and truly Make Argentina Great Again!,” said Trump on his social media platform Truth Social.