A bullish Javier Milei said Monday that he is “ready to assume” office now as Argentina’s next president and had already drawn up his Cabinet.
The La Libertad Avanza presidential candidate, speaking the morning after he stunned the nation by winning 30 percent of all votes in a closely watched primary election, also revealed in an interview with Radio Rivadavia that former president Mauricio Macri had phoned him to congratulate him on his performance.
"He wrote to me, but when he called me I was just taking a bath,” said Milei, adding that the opposition leader was the only figure from the main coalitions to have done so.
He also referred to his relationship with the opposition presidential candidate Patricia Bullrich, acknowledging that their once warm ties had soured and that he would not consider asking her to serve in his government, should he win the October presidential election.
"I don't know, I have many doubts because she has been very involved in the operations that have been carried out against me in recent months, she has played a very active role," said the national deputy.
When asked if there was scope for a change in ties, he was categorical: "There was an attempt, I called a ceasefire and she stabbed me with another dagger. She let me down, I thought he had a different way of doing politics.”
Analysing Sunday's results, Milei said that "society is angry" and admitted that he "did not expect" to emerge as the candidate with the most votes.
"I have it ready to take over now, my Cabinet is in place,” said the 52-year-old libertarian lawmaker, who is running for president for the first time.
Reflecting on a potential victory in October and becoming Argentina’s next president, Milei said: “I know how to make an economy grow and I know how to bring down inflation. It's in all the books, but they don't do it because applying these measures goes against the interests of politicians.”
Quizzed on policy, he said that Argentina’s debt with the International Monetary Fund would be paid off through his dollarisation proposal.
"The IMF should have no problem with the programme we are proposing, which is a much deeper fiscal adjustment than the one they are proposing. The most important thing is conviction. We have a clear diagnosis," the libertarian remarked.
Speaking about the economy, he asked "What better for the market than a pro-market economist?”
"Fear is a technique widely used in politics,” argued Milei. “It has been used by Kirchnerism and Juntos por el Cambio. Faced with a lack of proposals and ideas, they resort to fear mongering.”
"We have a clear diagnosis, we are clear about what we want to do, how to do it, we were the only ones to present a complete proposal," said the election winner.