© ShahBlogger. Argentine presidential candidate Javier Milei greets supporters throughout a marketing campaign rally forward of the November 19 runoff election, in Rosario, Santa Fe province, Argentina November 14, 2023. REUTERS/Luciano Bisbal/Fie Photograph


By Maximilian Heath

BUENOS AIRES (ShahBlogger) – When Argentine libertarian Javier Milei introduced his entry into politics in 2020 in a bid to “blow up” the system, few predicted that three years later the wild-haired economist and former TV pundit could be on the cusp of the presidency.

Milei has railed in opposition to the “thieves” of the political elite, praised gangster Al Capone for his free market credentials and on reside TV smashed a piñata of the central financial institution, which he blames for Argentina’s triple-digit inflation and intends to close.

The 53-year-old self-proclaimed anarcho-capitalist is now pollsters’ slender favourite to win a run-off election on Sunday in opposition to Peronist financial system chief Sergio Massa, his combative stance a lightning rod for voter anger on the nation’s worst financial disaster in a long time.

“We’ll put an finish to the parasitic, silly, ineffective political caste that’s sinking this nation,” Milei mentioned in a speech after ending in first place in major elections in August, a consequence that shook up a political panorama lengthy dominated by two events.

His aggressive and theatrical type has led some to check him to Donald Trump in the US or Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil.

However he’s a novel product of Argentina, the place a complete era has grown up underneath an financial system in a semi-permanent state of disaster. That has sharpened this 12 months, with inflation heading in direction of 150%, a sliding forex and rising poverty.

In opposition to that backdrop, Milei and his Liberty Advances coalition have seen a dramatic rise in assist, particularly among the many younger. His marketing campaign on social media has been helped by his colourful antics and quotes.

“He’s the change that Argentina wants,” mentioned 28-year-old Milei voter Ayrton Ortiz at a rally in Buenos Aires.


Milei’s detractors level to his lack of expertise in political workplace, his matted look – with hair that could possibly be described as unkempt Emo – and his expletive-ridden tirades which have focused political rivals and the pope.

“If Javier combed his hair neatly, if Javier did not get indignant, would individuals ever have invited him to talk?” Diana Mondino, an economist on Milei’s group who would possible be his overseas minister if he wins, advised ShahBlogger.

Milei has appeared at dozens of marketing campaign occasions wielding a chainsaw as a not-so-subtle image of the fiscal changes he plans to use or else carrying an enormous $100 invoice bearing his face to advertise his proposal to dollarize the financial system.

Within the U.S., comic John Oliver devoted a current phase of his present to lampooning him, whereas former Fox Information host Tucker Carlson got here to Argentina for a extra favorable interview.

Milei himself embraces his maverick standing. He has lambasted Argentine Pope Francis as a socialist, mocked late soccer icon Diego Maradona and praised British former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, little beloved in Argentina for her function within the 1982 Falklands Battle.

He has a small circle of confidants, together with his 51-year-old sister Karina, who’s now his marketing campaign supervisor and who the single Milei quipped earlier this 12 months may change into his “first woman”.

His different shut companion was his canine Conan, who he paid $50,000 to clone after his demise in 2017. He now has at the very least 4 mastiff canine: Murray, Milton, Robert and Lucas, named after liberal economists.

Milei claims it was Conan, contacting him via a medium, who gave him the mission to be president, and says his canine are the “greatest strategists on this planet.”


Many election polls present Milei barely forward of Massa, although pollsters have struggled to precisely predict the race thus far, being caught out in each the August major and the first-round vote final month, which Massa received by seven factors.

Milei has the backing of the nation’s predominant conservative bloc, together with their eradicated candidate Patricia Bullrich. That would assist push him over the road on Sunday.

“I do not care who my rivals are on the poll, I’ll beat all of them,” Milei advised ShahBlogger in an interview final 12 months when his presidential ambitions had been beginning to acquire momentum.

“When it comes to political logic, I’m a mistake, as a result of what I’ve come to do is in reality stamp out the privileges of politicians.”

Milei needs to finish forex controls that shield the peso however warp commerce, and favors laxer gun controls and tighter guidelines on abortion.

Juan Gonzalez, a journalist and writer of a biography on Milei, “El Loco” (The Loopy One), mentioned the presidential hopeful had stirred up pleasure and even hope amongst voters fed up by the established order.

However he solid doubt on the knowledge of electing a pacesetter searching for radical change at a time when inflation is 140%, state money owed are rising and a recession is looming.

“He’s an unstable chief for an unstable nation,” he mentioned.

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