Javier Milei will be the president of Argentina starting December 10. In a historic runoff, which kept the country in suspense and was decided by a much larger margin than expected, the La Libertad Avanza candidate beat Sergio Massa by almost 12 points, with 88% of the tables counted. Massa failed to separate his candidacy from the management of Alberto Fernandez, who had appointed him as Minister of Economy 15 months ago to try to control inflation and exchange rate pressure. Massa acknowledged defeat before 8:10 p.m., with no official results released.
“There were two country projects. Today’s event confirms that Argentina has a transparent and solid democratic system, which always respects the results.”, Massa opened his speech. The Minister of Economy contacted his rival and congratulated him. “He is the president that Argentines elected,” he said. And he added: “From tomorrow the responsibility of providing certainty falls on Milei.”
In addition, he noted that Alberto Fernandez and Milei will activate the transfer of command in the coming days. He opened the possibility of a move away from politics. “It is time for new generations,” he said. In this way, a question arises about his continuity at the head of the Treasury Palace until the end of the mandate.
With victory assured, Milei must now articulate a team, a speech and an action plan. She may possibly turn to her new Pro allies for this mission, especially with Mauricio Macri and Patricia Bullrich, with whom she sealed a key alliance to defeat Massa. Furthermore, the libertarian must counteract the fear that was sown around him and his proposals. He built his triumph in Cordoba and Mendoza, but also in the southern and northern provinces, where the PJ this time could not preserve its historic hegemony.
In these districts, Milei not only added the votes that Patricia Bullrich (Together for Change) had obtained but also an important portion of the endorsements that Juan Schiaretti (We Make Our Country) garnered. In the general elections of October 22, Massa obtained 36.78% and Milei 29.99%. The harvest of the rest of the competitors was as follows: Bullrich, 23.81%; Schiaretti, 6.73%, and Myriam Bregman (Left Front) 2.70%.
La Libertad Avanza has eight national senators, 38 deputies and no governor of its own. In the provinces, Together for Change commands 10 districts, the PJ in 9 and provincial forces in the remaining four.
Milei’s triumph opens up endless questions. From his campaign proposals, many of them controversial, such as the plan to dollarize the economy or those that question some basic agreements of democracy and advances in terms of individual rights. Also those that deny, for example, the existence of a systematic plan to violate human rights during the last military dictatorship. But the scenario in which his administration will rest also raises doubts, with no majority in Congress, with the unions and social movements against it and with a social fracture that was evidenced by the campaign of fear that was deployed during the runoff.
Despite it being a long weekend, electoral participation was similar and could even be slightly higher than that which occurred in the general elections, when 77.6 percent of the voters voted.
The decisive day was guided by uncertainty and tension, and loaded with complaints about theft or tearing of ballots. The installation of the word fraud by the libertarians, without evidence or proof, further inflamed the spirit of a dispute that was resolved by a greater margin than expected.
Guillermo Francos, advisor to La Libertad Avanza, said that it was a “transparent” election and that “there was no shortage of ballots.” In this way, he relativized the complaints that Karina Milei and Santiago Viola, the party representatives, had made during the day.