The president of the Argentine Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Oscar Ojea, lifted up in prayer the new governing authorities following the victory of the candidate of La Libertad Avanza (Freedom Advances) political party, Javier Milei, in the presidential runoff election.

Milei defeated Sergio Massa, the current minister of economy and candidate for the progressive party Unidos por la Patria (United for the Homeland), formerly called Frente de Todos (Everyone’s Front), in the runoff election winning 55.69% of the vote, with Massa getting 44.30%.

“We value the day of democracy” that voters participated in yesterday “and we pray to the Lord to enlighten the new elected authorities,” the prelate wrote Monday on X.

Ojea, who is also the bishop of San Isidro, also expressed his hope that the new authorities “can work for the common good” of the nation.

Milei’s first speech as president-elect of Argentina

In his first speech on the eve of the election, Nov. 19, after Massa publicly acknowledged his defeat, Milei said, among other things: “Today the impoverishing model of the omnipresent state ends, which only benefits some while the majority of Argentines suffer.”

“Today is a historic night, not because of us, but because a way of doing politics has ended and another begins,” he continued and then criticized those he considers “the caste,” as he calls politicians who enrich themselves at the expense of the state.

Stating that now “there is no room for lukewarmness” or “half measures,” the 53-year-old economist said that “all those who want to join the new Argentina are welcome. What unites us is more important than what separates us.”

Despite the country’s serious problems such as inflation, insecurity, and poverty, Milei highlighted that “Argentina has a future, but that future exists if that future is liberal.”

More in Americas

Milei’s policies are not liberal in the sense of American politics but as regards to rolling back socialistic big government. Major media describe him as “far right.”

To conclude his speech, Milei said: “How many times have we said and are tired of repeating that victory in battle did not come from the number of soldiers but from the forces that come from heaven.”

“God bless the Argentines, thank you very much!” he concluded after his trademark speech about freedom.

Some of Milei’s proposals 

Milei began his activism in the media by participating in television debates and became a media phenomenon — which later translated into the ballot box when he won the primary elections and now the presidential election — based on ideas such as the privatization of state-owned companies, shutting down various government departments, or the dollarization of the economy.

The president-elect opposes the legalization of abortion in Argentina, which was passed in 2020, as well as “comprehensive” (anything goes) sex education and gender ideology. His pro-life stance, along with that of his vice president-elect, Victoria Villarruel, has encouraged the expectations of various pro-life leaders and activists in the region.

One of Milei’s most controversial proposals is “searching for market mechanisms” to reduce the waiting time for those who need organ transplants. He also proposes the deregulation of gun sales.

(Story continues below)

In addition, he intends to cut public spending in areas such as health care, education, and social development, creating a single ministry for all three. Regarding education, Milei proposes that it be neither compulsory nor free.

While he won by 11 percentage points over his opponent, Milei faces many challenges in implementing his platform; the New York Times noted Nov. 20 that he is “expected to have to make political deals to carry out his plans, as his 2-year-old political party controls just 10% of the seats in Argentina’s Senate and 15% in its lower house of Congress.”

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.