Buenos Aires, Nov 19 (EFE).- Argentina’s far-right populist Javier Milei has been elected new president of Argentina, beating center-left economy minister Sergio Massa in Sunday’s runoff vote.
Milei, the libertarian economist of the La Libertad Avanza, took 55.75 percent of the votes (14,319,272) with 98 percent counted, with Peronist Massa taking 44.24 percent (11,384,014 votes).
“Today the reconstruction of Argentina begins,” former TV pundit Milei said during a speech at his headquarters.
“There is no place for gradualism, there is no place for lukewarmness, there is no place for half measures,” he said, urging the current government “to be responsible” and “take charge of its responsibility until the end of the mandate” on Dec. 10.
The data came shortly before 8.30 pm (23:30 GMT), after Massa conceded defeat.
“The results are not what we expected. I have contacted Javier Milei to congratulate him,” Massa said.
“Today a stage in my political life ends. Surely life will bring me other tasks and responsibilities.”
Some 35.8 million Argentinians were called to elect president and vice president in the second runoff in history, after that held in 2015 when the center-right Mauricio Macri beat Peronist Daniel Scioli.
Turnout for Sunday’s election was 76.37 percent, the second lowest in history after 76.2 percent in 2007.
Milei has drawn frequent comparisons to the United States’ former Republican president Donald Trump, and Trump himself congratulated him on the win.
“I am very proud of you. You will turn your Country around and truly Make Argentina Great Again!” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform.
Leaders from around South America also released statements on Milei’s victory.
Brazil’s President Lula da Silva congratulated Argentina for a peaceful, democratic election day, writing on X: “I wish the new government good luck and success. Argentina is a great country and deserves all our respect. Brazil will always be available to work together with our Argentine brothers.”
Chile’s progressive president Gabriel Boric wrote on the same platform: “I salute Javier Milei for his victory and Sergio Massa for his worthy recognition of defeat. I wish the Argentine people the best and know that they will always have our respect and support.”
Colombia’s leftist President Gustavo Petro wrote that “the extreme right has won in Argentina (…) Sad for Latin America.”
“Neoliberalism no longer has a proposal for society, it cannot respond to humanity’s current problems,” he posted on X. EFE