Who is Argentina’s new far-right president Javier Milei?

Newly elected President of Argentina Javier Milei speaks after the polls closed in the presidential runoff on November 19, 2023 in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Far-right politician and former TV celebrity Javier Milei has won Argentina’s presidential election, in a victory celebrated by Donald Trump and Elon Musk. 

On Sunday (19 November), it was announced that Milei – a climate change denier who has previously described himself as a “tantric sex instructor” – won the election with 55.69 per cent of the vote, with centre-left finance minister Sergio Massa conceding, The Guardian reported.

“Today the reconstruction of Argentina begins,” Milei, 53, told his supporters in Buenos Aires.

“Today is a historic night for Argentina.”

Newly elected President of Argentina Javier Milei celebrates with his sister Karina Milei (Tomas Cuesta/Getty Images)

Javier Milei, who will now take office on 10 December, ran his campaign on several economic promises, claiming he would put in place “drastic changes” to tackle the country’s “tragic reality” after a financial crisis which has left 40 per cent of Argentina’s citizens in poverty and caused high inflation.

He claimed during his campaign: “Argentina will return to the place in the world which it should never have lost”. 

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Milei’s win was celebrated by several right-wing figures, including Brazil’s former president Jair Bolsonaro, as well as former US president Donald Trump and X owner Elon Musk. 

“The whole world was watching!” Trump wrote. “I am very proud of you. You will turn your country around and truly Make Argentina Great Again.”

Musk added: “Prosperity is ahead for Argentina”. 

How will LGBTQ+ people be impacted?

According to Equaldex, Argentina is broadly very supportive of LGBTQ+ rights, becoming the first country in Latin America to legalise same-sex marriage in 2010 (ahead of the US and the UK), and legalising same-sex adoption and military service. The country also legally recognises non-binary people, and has banned conversion therapy – neither of which has been done in the UK. 

According to Outright International, however, Javier Milei’s election poses risks to the country’s LGBTQ+ community, with the Trump-endorsed politician previously speaking out against progressive LGBTQ+ policies.

While Milei has not made opposition to LGBTQ+ issues central to his campaign, he has previously attacked Argentina’s trans labour quota, which reserves one per cent of the country’s public sector jobs for trans people, and has described the “LGBT lobby” as part of the “socialist agenda”, as well as declaring his intention to dismantle the Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversity. 

Speaking about Argentina’s school curriculum, the politician reportedly claimed that “gender ideology, native peoples, ecology and inclusive language destroy the values of society”. 

Outright International explained: “His policies, if elected, are likely to undermine LGBTQ social movements, advance a rigid understanding of gender rooted in biological determinism, and roll back hard-won rights.”