Outsider Milei Beats Massa in Argentina Presidential Runoff

(Bloomberg) -- Javier Milei, a libertarian candidate with radical solutions to Argentina’s economic crisis, beat out Economy Minister Sergio Massa to win Sunday’s presidential runoff.

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With 87% of ballots counted after Sunday’s election, Milei took 56% of the votes to 44% for Massa of the incumbent left-wing Peronist coalition, according to the official electoral authority.

Massa conceded in Buenos Aires before the results were released, saying he called Milei to congratulate him on his victory. Milei will take office on Dec. 10.

“Argentines chose another path,” Massa said in a speech to supporters. Polls before the vote showed Milei with a slight edge over his rival.

Read More: Argentina Has Hard Choice in Presidential Runoff: What to Watch

The result hands Milei a mandate to pursue campaign pledges including ditching the peso for the US dollar and shuttering the central bank, while undertaking drastic cuts to public spending in an attempt to jolt the country of 46 million out of its malaise.

--With assistance from Walter Brandimarte.

(Updates with results in second paragraph.)

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