Libertarian candidate Javier Milei has taken the lead in Argentina’s primary presidential election, a development that has caught many off guard. Advocating for the elimination of the central bank and expressing support for Bitcoin, Milei’s “La Libertad Avanza” (Freedom Advances) party secured 30.73% of the votes with 84% of the vote counted.
His unexpected lead surpasses candidates from “Juntos por el Cambio” (Together for Change) and “Unidos por la Patria” (United for the Homeland), who garnered 28.14% and 26.84% of the votes, respectively.
Pre-election polls had predicted a lower standing for Milei, likely no higher than third place. His message against the central bank’s practices has resonated with a significant portion of the electorate, as he describes it as a “scam” facilitating inflationary taxation imposed by politicians.
Milei’s perspective on Bitcoin is equally positive, viewing it as a way to restore the control of money to the private sector. However, unlike El Salvador’s decision to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, Milei has not advocated for such a move within Argentina. Instead, he has proposed a “dollarization” of the economy, a suggestion aimed at addressing the nation’s triple-digit inflation rate.
As no candidate is projected to secure more than 45% of the vote in the primary election, the next steps include a general election in October featuring the winners from each party. Should no candidate achieve the 45% threshold in that vote, a final runoff will occur in November. With Milei’s unexpected surge, Argentina’s political landscape is undergoing a notable shift, potentially setting the stage for significant policy discussions and changes in the months ahead.