On Sunday, November 19, Argentinians voted, and the results showed that right-libertarian Javier Milei also referred to as “El loco” (The Madman) will be the country’s next president for the next four years.
With his unconventional approach and constant backing for free market ideals, Javier Milei won, marking a break from the status norm among the electorate. His victory is seen by many of his supporters as a revolutionary turning point that will bring about less government interference and economic transformation. With Milei’s promise to combat corruption head-on, optimism for a more open and responsible administration has risen.
But not everyone has felt the same way about Milei’s victory. His radical concepts are met with skepticism over their viability and implications. Fears of potential cuts to social assistance programmes and widening economic inequality are raised by the adoption of radical policies, particularly significant economic reforms. The same ideas that drove Milei’s supporters are feared by some as potential sources of instability and threats to the social security systems that have long characterised Argentina.
An analysis of the election results is provided by forty-five year old Julio Alejandro Rodríguez an Argentinean citizen who serves as the chief of consular affairs at the Dominican Republic’s embassy in Brussels. ‘The summary of the election results is a clear signal that the Argentinians were fed up with the previous government and a combination of forces. The center-right supports what they call libertarian rights, which are extreme rights that present themselves in line with Trumpism.’
Furthermore, Julio expresses his opinion of how he believes Milei won the elections: ‘Milei presented himself as a radical, but you need to understand the weight of populism in the minds of Argentinians. In my opinion that was a strategy that he used to get to power as he might not be as radical as many people think.’
Julio also expresses his concern about the short term effect of economic changes. ‘The government is going to cut programs and social welfare, and it will touch the pocket of Argentinians in the short term. The idea of this new government is to get the economy in order, to get the country back on track in the long term. It will not have a major impact on the younger generations as the cost of living cannot get worse than it is right now. It is going to be a harsh adjustment for families who are already struggling as they will be the most affected by the economic change in the short term.’
Long-term prospects for the youth of Argentina are promising, according to Julio. Many of the nation’s younger citizens want change and think their future president will be able to bring it out.
Milei’s rapid rise in politics is supported by a devoted fan base of young, largely male voters, who are lured to his anti-establishment position. Both committed libertarians and people fed up with the current political system can relate to the appeal. Many people link Milei’s popularity to Argentina’s economic problems, which include inflation that is above 140% and the weakening of the peso, the country’s currency.
The future president appeals to younger voters because he is a rebellious figure. An increasing number of young people are adopting economic and capitalist principles, and he believes that this tendency is good for Argentina. Milei’s impact goes beyond endorsements for political candidates; he also has an impact on the younger generation’s conversation on economic ideals.
Argentina is in new territory, the election of Milei as the new president signifies an end to the past as well as an unpredictable future. Both residents and witnesses are closely monitoring the developing story that will shape Argentina’s future course as the country struggles with the fallout from this election change.
Text: Raúl Pérez and Rania Boughrar
Photo: Hansjorg Keller via Unsplash