Far-right libertarian Javier Milei receives largest vote share in Argentina’s primaries

Milei’s performance came as a surprise to many who had underestimated the chances of the candidate who proposes the dollarization of Argentina

August 14, 2023 by Peoples Dispatch

With more than 92% of the votes counted, the far-right Liberty Advances presidential ticket maintained its lead with just over 30% of the total vote share in the PASO, or primary, elections held in Argentina on Sunday August 13. The Javier Milei and Victoria Villarruel duo polled ahead of Together for Change coalition which received 28% of the vote share and Union for the Homeland which received 27%.

In a speech given on Sunday night, Milei declared: “We will end kirchnerism and the political caste!” The controversial candidate is running on a platform of dollarization, reduction of state funded pensions and social welfare programs, massively cutting public spending, lowering the age of prosecution, as well as the open carry of weapons and the disappearance of the Central Bank.

The second and third place coalitions were also defining their presidential tickets in these PASO elections. In the Together for Change coalition former Security Minister Patricia Bullrich, who had received the support of former president Mauricio Macri, was victorious over Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta. In Union for the Homeland, Sergio Massa, who was backed by Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, won the contest against social leader Juan Grabois.

This year’s elections are also marked by the notable absence of Cristina herself from the process. Despite having previously announced her intention to run for president again, in the last year she suffered not only an intensified lawfare process but also survived an assassination attempt. When addressing supporters at the UxP bunker, social leader Grabois stated: “I want to send a big hug to Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Thank you for everything you have done for the people of Argentina.”