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THE victory of the far right to Argentina’s presidency is a “tremendous threat” to the rights won in 40 years of democracy, activists warned today.
Javier Milei easily won Argentina’s presidential election on Sunday, swinging the country to the far right following a campaign in which he promised a dramatic shake-up to the state to deal with soaring inflation and rising poverty.
According to Argentina’s electoral authority Mr Milei won the presidential run-off with 55.7 per cent of the vote over the centrist Economy Minister Sergio Massa who polled 44.3 per cent.
It is the highest percentage that a presidential candidate has received since the South American country’s return to democracy in 1983.
The self-described anarcho-capitalist, who has been compared to former United States President Donald Trump, said in his victory speech that the “reconstruction of Argentina begins today.”
He told supporters that “Argentina’s situation is critical. The changes our country needs are drastic. There is no room for gradualism, no room for lukewarm measures.
Mr Massa of the ruling Peronist party said: “Guaranteeing the political, social and economic functions is the responsibility of the new president. I hope he does.”
Mr Milei has said that he wants to slash the size of the government, dollarise the economy and eliminate the Central Bank as a way to tackle galloping inflation that he blames on successive governments printing money indiscriminately in order to fund public spending.
He also opposes sex education in schools and abortion, which Argentina’s Congress legalised in 2020.
People’s Dispatch Zoe Alexandra co-editor told the Morning Star that Mr Milei’s win was “a huge upset for progressive forces and poses a tremendous threat to the rights gained by the Argentine people in 40 years of democracy.
Ms Alexandra said that Argentinians clearly want profound change but “this won’t happen through dollarisation and harsh austerity, but through meeting progressive demands which address peoples socioeconomic conditions such as land, jobs, and housing for all.”
Communist Party of Britain international secretary Kevan Nelson called the election “a big setback for the working class of Argentina.
“However the Argentinian people have endured much worse in the past 50 years and can be relied upon to mobilise in defence of democracy and to resist a drift towards fascism.”
Latin American analyst Francisco Dominguez said: “Mr Milei’s victory will encourage more aggressive United States interference in Latin America.”
Peace and Justice Project international lead Laura Alvarez said: “This result has been coming for some time. Things have been awful for the working class but the alternative chosen does not bear thinking about.”
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