Argentina's Javier Milei copies Trump's playbook to become country's biggest primary election vote-getter
Argentinas Javier Milei became the biggest vote-getter in his countrys presidential primary elections on Sunday after copying the political playbook of former President Trump. Milei, an admirer of Trump, has says he wants to make it easier for Argentinians to own handguns, denies the severity of climate change, describes sex education as a ploy to destroy the nuclear family, and calls for Argentinas Central Bank to be abolished. The leader of the Liberty Advances party also criticized the "political caste" that rules the country and advocates for the "reconstruction of Argentina." On Sunday, Milei did much better than expected rocking his countrys political establishment by emerging from the countrywide primary elections with around 30% of the total vote. DEMOCRATS DEMAND 1,000% EXCISE TAX ON ASSAULT WEAPONS, HIGH-CAPACITY MAGAZINES Experts agree the rockstar-like Milei, 52, is a real contender for the presidency in the South American country. Votes were still being counted on Monday with around 92% of the polling stations reporting. Milei was ahead of the main opposition coalition, United for Change, who were at 28%, and the current governing coalition, Union for the Homeland, who had 27%. In his election headquarters, Milei celebrated the results and vowed to bring "an end to the parasitic, corrupt and useless political caste that exists in this country." ARGENTINA FACES ACCELERATED MONTHLY INFLATION AT 7.1% IN JULY, POSING CHALLENGES AHEAD OF KEY ELECTIONS "Today we took the first step toward the reconstruction of Argentina," he added. "A different Argentina is impossible with the same people as always." Before the election, analysts warned a result that favored Milei could upset financial markets and lead to a sharp plunge in the value of Argentinas peso amid uncertainty about how he would govern if he became president. Sundays voting officially picked candidates for various political blocs and was viewed as a nationwide poll on where candidates stand with Argentines going into the October election. Milei has been a lawmaker in the lower house of Argentinas Congress since 2021 but has been viewed as a political outsider whose way of expressing anger at the bureaucratic government resonates better with voters than a tailored and traditional politician. Should the populist leader see success in October, Argentina would become the latest country in the region where voters backed an outsider candidate to upset a status quo. Argentina currently struggles with annual inflation over 100%, rising poverty and a rapidly depreciating currency. Milei has attracted support, especially by young people, by calling for the country to replace the peso with the U.S. dollar. "Im very happy, were looking for a change. Were tired of living like this," Franco Lesertessur, 19, said, celebrating outside Mileis election headquarters in Buenos Aires. "All the countries that have been dollarized ended up moving forward and stopped having inflation." The governing coalition, Union for the Homeland, took a beating from voters over the poor state of the economy, finishing in third place for total votes. "We have 60 days to turn this election around," Economy Minister Sergio Massa, the coalitions presidential candidate, told supporters. He easily defeated leftist Juan Grabois. Mariel Fornoni, director of political consulting firm Management and Fit, said the results "reflect peoples fatigue on the political leadership, and the lack of solutions within the spaces that have been in power consecutively." Fornoni said the political establishment was "focused on their own group dynamics rather than addressing the actual needs of the people." The Associated Press contributed to this report.