Espreso. Global

Argentina holds elections: Trump supporter may become president

22 October, 2023 Sunday
19:16

Argentina is holding presidential elections on Sunday, October 22. Candidate Javier Milei, who promises to destroy the political system and implement radical reforms, is leading in the polls

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The Washington Post reported the information.

On Sunday, October 22, Argentina is holding presidential elections that could lead to the rise to power of a right-wing populist, an admirer of Donald Trump, who will lead one of the largest and most unstable economies in Latin America.

Congressman Javier Milei, a 52-year-old libertarian economist, stunned Argentina's political establishment with his unexpected victory in the August primaries. Promising to destroy the country's political "caste" (the local version of Trump's "drain the swamp"), he proposed to close the central bank, dollarize the economy, and adopt a "chain saw" approach to government spending. He promises to reduce the number of government ministries from 18 to 8 and let radically free markets rule.

Through viral TikTok videos and rock concert-style arena rallies, he has galvanized a generation of young people struggling to access the workforce. Now voters say they want to take a radically different path.

Polls show Milei leading among 5 candidates.To win on Sunday, a candidate must receive 45% of the vote, or 40% with a 10-point lead over the second-place candidate by at least 10%. 

If Milei wins, then, according to political scientist Juan Germano, "Argentina, in political terms, enters an unknown territory." According to him, in 40 years of uninterrupted democracy, the country has never had a president who was "so clearly an outsider."

But unlike Trump, who had the support of the Republican Party, or Bolsonaro, who rose through the ranks of the army, Milei does not have a very large political structure around him. He would be the first president to have no party allies among Argentina's 23 provincial governors, and no significant support in the legislature, raising questions about how he would be able to govern the country.

Milei's calls for dollarization and attacks on the peso - he called the Argentine currency "excrement" - sent shock waves through the economy. A few days after his victory in the primaries, the peso collapsed and inflation soared. Argentines rushed to fill gas tanks and stock up on non-perishable food before prices rose. Looters looted supermarkets.

In Argentina's widely traded unofficial market, which affects consumer prices, the value of UDS 1 last week exceeded ARS 1,000 for the first time. Before the primaries, USD 1 was worth about ARS 600 pesos. Before the pandemic, it cost ARS 80 pesos.

  • On October,17, the Central Election Commission announced the final results of the parliamentary elections in Poland. The Law and Justice party took the first place, the Civic Coalition the second, the Third Way the third, the New Left the fourth, and the Confederation the fifth
  • Ruling party's defeat in Poland means that forming anti-European alliance between Warsaw, Budapest, and Bratislava is now unlikely

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