The tight and highly-contested run-off vote for the presidential election in Argentina on Sunday proved to be decisive as the far-right candidate, Jair Milei, achieved victory over Alberto Massa, the center-left candidate. The contentious election was preceded by months of political rancor and the anticipation of a close result between the two candidates. In the end, the result was as expected: Milei earned 48.84% of the vote, while Massa conceded in a video statement with 45.45%.
The election of Milei was a major shock to the Argentinian political system, which has been dominated by the center-left for decades. Massa had been leading in several polls leading up to the election, and many had expected a continuation of the policies of the Kirchner administrations. Milei, however, ran on a platform of fiscal conservatism and embraced a variety of policies favored by the far right, such as re-invigorating the economy and reducing immigration. His victory signals a drastic shift in Argentinian politics.
The result has been met with criticism and concern from some, who fear a shift towards authoritarianism and intolerance. Others view Milei’s victory as an opportunity to move away from the status quo and towards fresh perspectives and policies that can better address the country’s many challenges.
Massa’s concession was remarkable, given the highly-charged atmosphere of the election. He acknowledged Milei’s win with grace and civility, and urged Argentinians to come together in support of their new president. Although the election was divisive, Massa has said he is confident Argentina can become “the most compelling democracy in Latin America.”
The result of the presidential election is sure to have profound implications for Argentina, and the world will be watching to see what Milei’s victory means for the country. Now that the winner has been determined, it is time for the citizens of Argentina to rally behind their new president and work towards a brighter future.