Former TV pundit Javier Milei – nicknamed “the Loopy” or “the Madman” by his followers and who has praised gangster Al Capone – has surprised political consultants together with his election as the brand new president of Argentina.
The 53-year-old right-wing populist won 56% of the vote to finish a journey which began in 2020 when he entered politics and promised to “blow up” the system.
On the time, he was a TV speaking head who was arguing in opposition to authorities spending and who appeared a good distance from staging a critical bid to turn into chief of South America’s second-largest economy.
However in opposition to a backdrop of inflation approaching 150%, rising poverty and a sliding forex, Mr Milei and his Liberty Advances coalition noticed their help develop to make him a critical political contender.
This was regardless of closely criticising Argentine-born Pope Francis as an “imbecile”, mocking the nation’s late soccer icon Diego Maradona and even praising former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, little beloved in Argentina for her function within the 1982 Falklands Conflict.
His expletive-ridden tirades have focused his political rivals, contributing to his rise in recognition.
Also referred to as “the wig” as a consequence of his unruly mop of hair, he refers to himself as “the lion”, believes intercourse schooling is a plot to destroy the household, and has raised the potential for individuals being allowed to promote their very own very important organs.
Mr Milei’s aggressive and theatrical type – from superhero costumes to wielding a chainsaw as an example his plans to chop down the dimensions of the state – has led some to match him to Donald Trump within the US or Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil.
“If Javier combed his hair neatly, if Javier did not get indignant, would individuals ever have invited him to talk?” stated Diana Mondino, an economist on Mr Milei’s crew.
The economist and son of a passenger transport businessman and a homemaker, he appeared at dozens of marketing campaign occasions with the chainsaw, promising insurance policies together with the closing down of the nation’s central financial institution, which he blames for enjoying an enormous function within the excessive inflation figures.
Mr Milei, who’s single however began a relationship in July with actress and artist Fatima Florez, advised earlier this 12 months his 51-year-old sister Karina might be his “first girl” as she ran his election marketing campaign.
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His different shut companion was his mastiff canine Conan, whom he paid $50,000 (£40,000) to clone after his demise in 2017. He now has at the very least 4 different clones, all named after economists.
Mr Milei favours free gun legal guidelines and tighter controls on abortion, opposes feminist and local weather change insurance policies, and needs to exchange the peso forex with the US greenback – and is a fan of crime boss Al Capone for what he claims are free-market credentials.
However regardless of stirring up pleasure amongst voters, many commentators consider Mr Milei is a dangerous gamble given the excessive inflation, rising state money owed and a looming recession.
Juan Gonzalez, a journalist and creator of a biography on the brand new chief, admitted: “He’s an unstable chief for an unstable nation.”