Buenos Aires: Was it the roar of a “lion”, the buzz of a chainsaw, or a commitment to change the status quo? In two years, the Argentinian Javier Milei (53) has gone from an eccentric TV panelist to the newly elected president of Latin America’s third-largest economy.
Here’s how he caused a massive election stir:
Argentina went into the election with annual inflation at 140 percent and poverty at over 40 percent, the latest in a long line of recurring crises in one of the world’s most volatile economies.
“Everything is already broken. Milei won’t break anything,” student Agustin Baletti, 22, said before the election, adding that past governments “left young people without hope.” Analysts say the main driver of Miley’s victory was voter anger at the status quo, rather than his personality or anti-abortion views, the pope, or denial that humans are behind climate change.
Argentines were “gambling for a resurrection,” said Buenos Aires-based economist Andres Borenstein of the Econviews think tank. Mariana Peinado, a senior analyst at Atlas Intel, said polls that predicted Milea’s victory showed that most people were actually against his policy of making it easier to carry guns or even abandoning the peso for the US dollar.
Milei proposed an abortion referendum, but the majority of those polled were in favor of making it legal. While many voters did not seem to feel passionately about his more controversial comments, they supported spending cuts “even if it means less social spending.” .”
Ana Iparraguirre of think tank GBAO Strategies said their data showed that “half of Argentines feel that the next generation will be worse off economically than they are. There is no social mobility.” While health care and education were free under the Peronist government, they became “worse and worse”.
Up to 10 percent of voters were undecided at the polls, polls showed, with many telling AFP they had just chosen the “lesser evil.” Architect Sofia Speroni, 33, said she voted “to say no to corruption, to our current situation. “
“Many Milei Milei voters were less attracted than repelled by (his rival Sergio) Massa,” said Benjamin Gedan, director of the Argentina Project at the Washington-based Wilson Center.
Massa’s “pathetic performance” as economy minister “led many Argentines to doubt that he would do better as president.”
The ferocious Milei, who often refers to himself as “the lion,” courted a rock star persona, dressing up as his superhero alter-ego Captain Ancap – short for anarcho-capitalist – and waving a live chainsaw around to signal cuts. wants to spend on government spending.
Gedan said this “iconoclastic style” explains its appeal because it “signals a radically new approach to leadership.” With a young social media team, he also partially led his campaign on TikTok and YouTube. A poll by AtlasIntel showed that 68 percent of Argentines between the ages of 16 and 24 supported Milea before the vote.
“Milei has become very popular because she appeals to emotions. He’s a TikTok guy,” Borenstein said. Milei points out that “politicians are corrupt… and people know it because we see politicians and they are very, very rich.” Iparraguirre said it was a struggle between “the old way of communicating in traditional media and billboards and using public funds.” and “a more organic way of communicating through new media and followers connecting with young voters.”
In one video of the celebration on Twitter, a young man interrupts the television broadcast and shouts, “Massa, you moron, five fat guys beat you on Twitter.” None After the first round, Milei was seven points behind Massa. He then won the support of the third-placed center-right opposition, including former president Mauricio Macri, and toned down his rhetoric.
He ended up consolidating the majority of opposition votes,” Iparraguirre said. “He managed to reassure voters that he would not move forward with some of his most radical proposals, such as privatizing public health care and education.”
Image Source: Voz Us