Argentina elected right-wing libertarian Javier Milei as its new president on Sunday, rolling the dice on an outsider with radical views to fix an economy battered by triple-digit inflation, a looming recession and rising poverty.
Milei, who rode a wave of voter anger with the political mainstream, won by a wider-than-expected margin. He landed some 56% of the vote versus just over 44% for his rival, Peronist Economy Minister Sergio Massa, who conceded.
"The model of decadence has come to an end, there's no going back," Milei said in a defiant speech after the result, while also acknowledging the challenges that face him.
In downtown Buenos Aires hundreds of Milei supporters honked horns and chanted his popular refrain against the political elite - "out with all of them" - as rock music played from speakers. Some people set off fireworks as excitement spread.
"We came to celebrate this historic triumph," said Efrain Viveros, a 21-year-old student from the province of Salta. "I'm honestly ecstatic. Milei represents change, for the better. With Massa we'd have had no future, our future has returned."
"Milei is the new thing, he's a bit of an unknown and it is a little scary, but it's time to turn over a new page," said 31-year-old restaurant worker Cristian as he voted on Sunday.
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