Argentina Faces Decisive Runoff Election with Trump-Like Populist as Contender

by Joshua Brown
Argentina runoff election

On Sunday, Argentina conducted a runoff election crucial for its future direction, with a choice between populist Javier Milei, often likened to former U.S. President Donald Trump, and Peronist party’s Sergio Massa, amidst escalating inflation and deepening poverty.

Javier Milei, initially known for his TV appearances, vies against Sergio Massa, the Economy Minister from the influential Peronist party. Argentina’s economy struggles under a staggering inflation rate exceeding 140% and increasing poverty levels, issues prevalent during Massa’s tenure. Milei, branding himself as an anarcho-capitalist, advocates for reducing the government’s size and controlling inflation. In contrast, Massa warns of the potential adverse effects of Milei’s approach.

This election has left many voters in a dilemma, choosing what they perceive as the lesser of two evils.

Additional Reports

  • Javier Milei Raises Fraud Allegations, Adding Uncertainty to Argentina’s Presidential Runoff
  • Power Tools and Politics: The Unusual Element in Argentina’s Presidential Race
  • The Peronist Party’s Intense Efforts to Secure Votes in the Presidential Runoff

Lucas Romero, Synopsis’s director, remarked on the extraordinary nature of the election, highlighting the challenge for either candidate to secure a win under the current circumstances.

The voting process, relying on paper ballots, started at 8 a.m. and lasted for 10 hours, with initial results anticipated a few hours post-closure.

Milei’s journey from a critical TV figure to a lawmaker resonated with many Argentinians, especially young men frustrated by economic hardships. Esteban Medina, a 26-year-old from Ezeiza, expressed his financial struggles despite being qualified.

Meanwhile, Massa, a key figure in a widely disapproved administration, managed to lead in the first voting round, leveraging the Peronist party’s networks. His campaign cautioned against Milei’s libertarian policies, which could undermine public services and welfare programs. Massa also criticized Milei’s aggressive behavior and questioned his mental stability, notably during rallies where Milei brandished a chainsaw.

Voter Jenifer Pio expressed concerns over a potential Milei presidency, fearing a return to dictatorship and questioning his emotional and psychological stability.

Ana Iparraguirre from GBAO Strategies noted that Massa’s chances hinge on framing the election as a referendum on Milei’s suitability for presidency.

Massa, after casting his vote, emphasized the need for dialogue and consensus for Argentina’s future progress. Milei, countering Massa’s “campaign of fear,” retracted some controversial proposals, like relaxing gun control laws. He reassured in his final campaign ad about not privatizing education or health care.

María Gabriela Gaviola, a struggling entrepreneur, expressed her inclination towards trying something new, given the government’s lack of support for the productive sector.

Pre-election polls indicated a close race between Milei and Massa. The decision of voters who supported other first-round candidates, like Patricia Bullrich who endorsed Milei, will be pivotal.

Milei’s claims of potential electoral fraud, echoing those of Trump and Bolsonaro, have been disputed by experts and stirred debate among his supporters.

The election, marked by Milei’s allegations and the public’s divided reactions, underscores the deep political rifts within Argentina.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Argentina runoff election

Who are the main candidates in Argentina’s runoff election?

The main candidates are populist Javier Milei, often compared to former U.S. President Donald Trump, and Sergio Massa, the Economy Minister from the Peronist party.

What are the key issues in this election?

Key issues include Argentina’s soaring inflation, which has exceeded 140%, rising poverty levels, and the potential economic and political impact of the candidates’ differing policies.

What is Javier Milei’s political stance?

Javier Milei is a self-described anarcho-capitalist who advocates for reducing the size of the state and controlling inflation through significant government downsizing.

What are the concerns about Sergio Massa’s candidacy?

Concerns about Sergio Massa stem from his role in a currently unpopular administration and his handling of the economy, which has seen worsening inflation and poverty.

What unique approach has Milei taken in his campaign?

Milei has been known for his aggressive rhetoric and unusual campaign tactics, including carrying a revving chainsaw at rallies, and he has made allegations of electoral fraud.

How is the public reacting to the candidates?

The public’s reaction is divided, with some fearing a Milei victory could risk a return to dictatorship, while others are frustrated with the current administration and are open to change.

More about Argentina runoff election

  • Argentina’s Runoff Election Dynamics
  • Economic Challenges in Argentina’s Politics
  • Profiles of Argentine Presidential Candidates
  • Milei’s Populist Campaign Strategies
  • Argentina’s Political Landscape and Voter Sentiments

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Maria Lopez November 20, 2023 - 12:10 am

The comparison to Trump is interesting, shows how global politics are shifting, But can Milei really make a difference? we’ll see.

Carlos Mendoza November 20, 2023 - 9:09 am

wow, this election sounds intense, Milei with a chainsaw? thats some crazy stuff happening in Argentina.

Juan Esteban November 20, 2023 - 9:34 am

Massa has a tough job ahead, with the economy in such a mess. But Milei doesn’t seem like the answer to me, too radical maybe?

Sandra Ruiz November 20, 2023 - 10:06 am

i’m not surprised by the economic crisis, it’s been bad for a while now, but who thought Milei would be a top candidate? politics is full of surprises.


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