Publish: 22 Oct 2023, 02:17 pm
Argentines head to the polls on Sunday in a presidential election dominated by fury over decades of economic decline and record inflation that has propelled political outsider Javier Milei to the front of the race.
Once one of the richest countries in the world, Argentina has stagnated in recent decades, unable to escape cycles of fiscal crises marked by debt, financial mismanagement, and inflation which now stands at 140 percent year-on-year.
With 40 percent of the population living in poverty and a middle class brought to its knees, many voters are keen to see the back of the traditional parties they see as the architects of their misery.
"It's total uncertainty -- you never know if your rent will go up, (or) prices in the supermarket. It's madness," said university student Valentin Figarra, 20. "One wants to grow... but this generation is falling behind, it's sad."
Milei, a libertarian economist who formed his party Libertad Avanza (Freedom Advances) only in 2021, blindsided most experts and pollsters when he surged to the front of the election race, winning a primary with 30 percent of votes.
The self-described "anarcho-capitalist" with disheveled hair and a rock-star persona has lured voters with his diatribes on television and social media -- where he vows to "dynamite" the central bank and ditch the peso for the US dollar.
He has run his campaign on TikTok and YouTube and showed up at live rallies with an actual powered-up chainsaw vowing to slash public spending by 15 percent._AFP
Subscribe Shampratik Deshkal Youtube Channel