Capping off a remarkable rise from political outsider to president in just two years, outspoken La Libertad Avanza lawmaker Javier Milei has won the race to be Argentina’s next president.
Just after 8pm on Sunday evening, Economy Minister Sergio Massa, the candidate for the ruling Unión por la Patria coalition, took to the stage at the ruling coalition’s bunker to concede the election, admitting that he had lost the race for the Casa Rosada.
“It was a difficult campaign,” Massa told Peronist supporters at the party’s bunker in Chacarita.
"I want to tell you that obviously the results are not what we expected and I have communicated with Javier Milei to congratulate him and wish him luck because he is the president that the majority of Argentines elected," said the minister.
Minutes later, the first official results of the provisional count emerged. With 86.59 percent of polling stations reporting, the libertarian was on 55.95 percent to Massa's 44.04 percent.
Prior to the release of provisional results, a number of opposition leaders had hinted that the La Libertad Avanza candidate had won the run-off.
Voters were gripped by fear, uncertainty and resignation as they cast ballots on Sunday, with few confident either candidate could right Argentina’s economic wrongs.
Argentina’s National Electoral Chamber (CNE) informed that at 6pm close to 76 percent of the electoral roll had cast a ballot. Some voters were still waiting in line.
Julio Vitobello, secretary-general to the Presidency, said that results would be released when they were “consolidated and representative.”
"The election has developed normally and in peace," Vitobello remarked.
The result represents the beginning of a new era in Argentine politics, one in which libertarian and free-market ideas and a focus on economic policy will take centre-stage.
Milei will assume office on December 10.