Argentina: Far-right ‘rockstar’ leads in Argentina’s president primary

BUENOS AIRES: Far-right populist Javier Milei rocked Argentina‘s political establishment on Sunday by emerging as the biggest vote-getter in primary elections to choose presidential candidates for the October election in a nation battered by economic woes. Rock-singing, wild-haired economist and lawmaker Milei, an admirer of Trump, says the central bank should be abolished, thinks climate change is a lie, characterises sex education as a ploy to destroy the family, believes the sale of human organs should be legal and wants to make it easier to own handguns.

Analysts said the upstart candidate who gained notoriety – and a “rockstar-like” following – by angrily ranting against the “political caste” did much better than expected and is a real contender for the presidency. With around 92% votes counted, Milei had around 30% of the total vote. The candidates in the main opposition coalition, United for Change, were at 28% and the current governing coalition, Union for the Homeland, had 27%.
Argentina has become the latest country in the region where voters are looking to an outsider candidate as a way of expressing anger against traditional politicians. In a nation struggling with annual inflation of over 100%, rising poverty and a rapidly depreciating currency, Milei attracted support by seeking to replace the peso with the US dollar.

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