Candidates from the Avanza Libertad have hailed their party’s results in the PASO primaries, which saw the libertarian front make a substantial claim to be the third-largest force in Buenos Aires City and Province.
High-profile economists Javier Milei and José Luis Espert ran strong campaigns leading unified slates in the two key regions, with the former winning the support of more than 238,000 porteños to finish in a strong third place with 13.66 percent of the vote.
Espert, Avanza Libertad’s candidate for national deputy in Buenos Aires Province, finished fourth in the country’s most-populous region, with 4.87 percent – more than 400,000 votes.
"We are happy,” said Milei on Sunday, as he delighted in “a great campaign.”
“A large part of the people who live in the City accompanied us. We are convinced not only that we are going to enter with two [deputies], but also expand," said the economist, who has made a name for himself on the campaign trail with angry denunciations of mainstream politicians on both sides of the aisle.
Speaking Monday morning to Radio Rivadavia, Milei said that he hoped to shave off votes from fellow economist Ricardo López Murphy, who ran to the right of María Eugenia Vidal on the split Juntos por el Cambio ticket in the City, in November’s midterms.
"Twenty-five percent of porteños are aligned with the ideas of freedom,” said Milei. “It is necessary to convince a part [of them] that behind a social democratic structure, the ideas of freedom are not going to be respected, but dominated," he said.
Stressing that his differences with López Murphy are "marginal,” the economist said the most important thing was for “liberalism” to supplant the ruling Peronist coaltion as the second-largest force in the capital.”
The economist said that pushing Frente de Todos into third “would be a beautiful feat," though he vowed not to change his passionate and aggressive style on the campaign trail.
"I will continue to be who I am," he declared.
On Sunday night, as he celebrated Avanza Libertad’s results at a hotel in the capital, Milei described Argentina as a country of "50-50 – 50 percent inflation and 50 percent poor," Milei said that the country’s political "caste is afraid," telling voters that if they truly wanted to remove Kirchnerism from power, they should back his party.
"I did not come here to lead lambs, I came to wake up lions and the lions are waking up," declared the candidate for national deputy to cheers from supporters.
Espert, who ran for president in 2019, declared that “liberals are making history again after a long time” away.
“We once again summon the entire centre-right to the task that remains until November 14, when the game will be played seriously,” he declared, looking ahead to the “big task” that awaits in the midterms.
Describing the result as a blow to “corruption, cronyism and accommodation," Espert said liberalism had grown since 2019 and had to “aspire to more” now that it was the “third-biggest” force in the country.