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Milei wins, Massa concedes in Argentina presidential run-off vote


Supporters of Milei celebrate outside his party headquarters in Buenos Aires on November 19, 2023.


Javier Milei has won Argentina’s presidential elections in provisional results, wrenching his country to the right with a bombastic anti-establishment campaign against the backdrop of one of the world’s highest inflation rates.

His rival Sergio Massa conceded the run-off vote on Sunday evening in a brief speech even before official results were announced.

“Milei is the president elected for the next 4 years,” said Massa, adding that he had already called Milei to congratulate him.

Provisional results so far show Milei with over 55% of votes (13,781,154) with more than 94% of votes counted, according to data from the country’s National Electoral Chamber, which has not yet declared an official winner.

Milei’s victory marks an extraordinary rise for the former TV pundit, who entered the race as a political outsider on a promise to “break up with the status quo” – exemplified by Sergio Massa.

His campaign promise to dollarize Argentina, if enacted, is expected to thrust the country into new territory: no country of Argentina’s size has previously turned over the reins of its own monetary policy to Washington decisionmakers.

Milei has also said he would slash government spending by closing Argentina’s ministries of culture, education, and diversity, and by eliminating public subsidies. He is a social conservative with ties to the American right; he opposes abortion rights and has called climate change a “lie of socialism.”

Milei’s win will be closely scrutinized around the world as a potential sign of a resurgence of far-right populism. Milei has ties to the American right, and former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro had endorsed Milei’s candidacy

Public opinion polls had shown the two candidates neck-and-neck in recent weeks.

Matias Delacroix/AP

Milei, of the Liberty Advances coalition, arrives to vote in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023.

Massa is a lifelong politician whose candidacy in contrast with Milei’s had come to represent Argentina’s political establishment. Inflation has reached painful heights during his tenture – 142% year on year, but Massa sought to argue that the government’s current actions were already paying dividends, with inflation for the month of October 35% lower than in September – an argument that appears to have failed to convince voters exhausted by a cost-of-living crisis.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

Reporting contributed by CNN’s Stefano Pozzebon in Bogota in Atlanta.

Read More: Milei wins, Massa concedes in Argentina presidential run-off vote

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