1 of 2 | Argentina elected Javier Milei on Sunday to serve as president for the next four years. He's seen here with his sister Karina Milei greeting supporters after voting in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo by Enrique Garcia Medina/EPA-EFE
Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Javier Milei, a far-right libertarian who's been compared to former President Donald Trump, was elected Argentina's new president Sunday night to lead the country for the next four years.
Milei, who famously carried a chainsaw to campaign events and called himself "King of the Jungle," is a former frontman of a Rolling Stones cover band and television pundit. In 2021, he was elected to Argentina's congress.
His campaign focused on an economic overhaul that involved cutting spending and closing Argentina's central bank and replacing it with U.S. currency. Some of his other ideas to address the crisis include charging fees for healthcare, xxxx
The election outcome is likely to make a significant impact on Argentina as the country battles through a historic economic crisis with sky-high inflation and the peso losing half of its value this year.
Milei was running against left-leaning Sergio Massa, who served as the country's economy minister. Both men went into the race on Sunday at a dead heat. Massa conceded before the final votes were tallied.
Milei's brash style and conspiracy theories have drawn comparisons to former President Donald Trump. Days before the election, Milei's party, Freedom Advances, alleged fraud, calling the election rigged. Sebastian Schimmel, of the National Electoral Chamber, dismissed the accusations, saying it was "completely unfounded, as they are not even supported by arguments. Nevertheless, they create an atmosphere that aims to instill mistrust."
Massa, a former mayor, congressman and a presidential cabinet chief, was known as a pragmatist with leaning that swing from the right to the left. During his campaign, he tried to woo voters with promises of tax cuts and his ability to run the government. In July 2022, he was appointment economy minister. Inflation has since soared and the peso plummeted. Today, $1 buys 950 pesos. Before the election, many Argentinians expressed concern over his ability to handle economic matters.
The National Electoral Chamber opened more than 106,000 polling stations throughout the country. Voting was mandatory for anyone 18 to 70 and optional for children age 16 and 17, anyone over 71 and residents living abroad.