Pro-Bitcoin Candidate Javier Milei Snags Primary Presidential Elections in Argentina

Milei had been tabbed to finish no higher than third in Sunday’s preliminary election.

AccessTimeIconAug 14, 2023 at 3:25 a.m. UTC
Updated Aug 15, 2023 at 5:45 p.m. UTC

Javier Milei, a libertarian candidate who has advocated for the elimination of the central bank and spoken favorably of Bitcoin (BTC), won the primary presidential election in Argentina.

With 90% of the vote counted, Milei – of the "La Libertad Avanza" (Freedom Advances) party – had 30.5% of the votes versus candidates from "Juntos por el Cambio" (Together for Change) and "Unidos por la Patria" (United for the Homeland), who received 28% and 27%, respectively.

Pre-election polls suggested Milei would finish no higher than third in today’s vote.

"The central bank is a scam, a mechanism by which politicians cheat the good people with inflationary tax,” Milei has previously argued. Regarding Bitcoin, he said that it "represents the return of money to its original creator, the private sector.”

While having a favorable attitude towards the crypto, Milei has not advocated for Bitcoin’s use as legal tender within Argentina (similar to El Salvador). Instead, Milei has called for a “dollarization” of the economy, which currently is dealing with a triple-digit rate of inflation.

With no candidate likely to obtain more than 45% in today’s polling, a general election among the winner for each party will be held in October. If no one receives 45% in that vote, a final runoff vote will be held in November.

UPDATE (Aug. 14, 10:50 UTC): Updates headline and body with the confirmation of Milei's win.

Edited by Stephen Alpher.


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Andrés Engler

Andrés Engler was a CoinDesk editor based in Argentina, where he covers the Latin American crypto ecosystem. He holds BTC and ETH.

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