OAN’s Abril Elfi
11:22 AM – Tuesday, October 24, 2023
Economy Minister Sergio Massa is leading Libertarian Radical Javier Milei in the race for the next president of Argentina.
On Sunday, Argentinian citizens headed to the polls to vote for the next election where Massa had 36.6% of the vote, ahead of Milei who had just over 30%, while conservative Patricia Bullrich was behind with 23.8%. Nearly 98% of the vote has been counted.
The results came as a surprise as pre-election polls had predicted that Milei would be ahead of the race.
Massa, who is now in office, juggles a hefty ministerial portfolio that includes inflation control, soybeans (the country’s principal export), and Argentina’s relationship with the International Monetary Fund.
In comparison to the present government coalition, he has tried to frame himself as a more pragmatic voice from the left, and has moved to separate himself politically from Argentina’s high-profile vice-president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner without losing her power base.
Massa was predicted to finish second at best after annual inflation exceeded 138% with more than 40% of the population living in poverty while he was the economy minister.
Meanwhile, Milei has proposed measures such as the dollarization of the economy and has insulted major trading partners like China and Brazil. He also supports reducing the size of government and is anti-abortion.
He has promised to “chainsaw” the economic and political status quo, drawing some disgruntled voters who are fed up with growing costs outpacing wages.
United States conservatives have voiced their support for Milei as the votes continue to be counted.
To avoid a run-off election on November 19th, a candidate must receive 45% of the vote on Sunday, or 40% with a 10-point or greater margin over the nearest rival.
According to exit poll data, it is likely that the vote will go into a run-off vote.
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