Thursday, July 18, 2024

ARGENTINA | 18-05-2023 15:33

Milei’s electoral platform: Dollarisation, privatisations, guns and scrapping sex education

Leaked electoral platform presented by libertarian lawmaker to Judge María Servini features more than 60 proposals he aims to put into practice if he becomes president.

Leaked details of Javier Milei’s electoral platform reveal that the libertarian lawmaker wants to dollarise Argentina’s economy, privatise key nationalised industries, liberalise rules regarding gun ownership and scrap sexual education classes in schools.

Running for the presidency for his La Libertad Avanza (LLA) party, the 52-year-old economist has presented his electoral platform before the courts as part of a process to request recognition of his legal status for participation in the upcoming general elections.

The platform was presented to the federal courtroom under María Servini on May 10. The policies were reported for the first time by lawyer Natalia Volosín, who published them on Twitter and later via the Infobae news portal.

As is common knowledge, the national deputy proposes to dollarise Argentina’s economy, but Milei’s proposals of more than 60 reforms in the areas of the economy, labour, education, health and policing, among others, are now drawing the eye. 

The libertarian leader’s platform highlights, for example, that sex education (Educación Sexual Integral) classes in school should not be obligatory, leaving such instruction in family hands. He further pledges to defend "the child from conception" by repealing the 2020 legalisation of abortion.


Key proposals

Among the LLA proposals, great importance is attached to a series of largescale privatisations, beginning with pensions and later advancing into health and education.

Apart from dollarisation, Milei’s economic proposals also include the elimination of the Central Bank, another regular part of the candidate’s discourse in his numerous public appearances, while also establishing the elimination of export and import duties.

Like other sectors of the opposition, LLA also proposes labour reforms destined to slash employer contributions and introducing a "system of unemployment insurance" to replace severance pay for unjustified dismissals, while seeking to progressively eliminate social plans.

Guns also enter the conversation – the national deputy has also ratified on several occasions his agreement with the unrestricted right to bear arms.

Milei is also pushing certain restrictions for foreigners such as the payment of residence fees, a ban on foreigners with criminal records from entering the country and the immediate deportation of criminals who are not Argentine.

The platform assures that federal revenue-sharing (so-called ‘coparticipación’) of funds will be eliminated while promoting "a competition of currencies permitting citizens to choose their monetary system freely or the dollarisation of the economy" as well as unifying the exchange rate by "freeing it immediately from all capital controls."

La Libertad Avanza is proposing Javier Milei as its only presidential option, but his electoral alliance consists of three national and five provincial parties: Partido Demócrata, Renovador Federal and Unión Celeste y Blanco as the former and La Libertad Avanza de La Rioja, Fuerza Republicana de Tucumán, Republicanos Unidos de Tierra del Fuego, Ciudadanos por Chubut and ADN de San Juan as the latter.


Running-mate confirmed

News of the leak arrives in the same week that Milei confirmed his fellow-deputy, 48-year-old Victoria Villarruel, would be his running-mate for the PASO (Primarias, Abiertas, Simultáneas y Obligatorias) primaries.

"We’re like David against Goliath, against two electoral powers," declared Milei as he formally announced his decision on the La Nación+ television news channel.

"I chose her because she is a brilliant and honest person with integrity and besides we’re friends; we complement each other well to resolve the questions torturing this country," affirmed Milei about Villarruel.

One of the best-known libertarian faces and an open defender of those convicted for crimes against humanity during the 1976-1983 military dictatorship, Villarruel has regularly adopted stands against women’s rights and diversity, as well as speaking out against indigenous communities.

The lawyer provocatively swore in as a deputy with the words: "For the victims of terrorism, I swear." From then on her action in Congress has been accompanied by denialist, anti-Mapuche and pro-military expressions.

The 47 bills she has approved, according to the Congress database, include a resolution to express her pleasure over the "embrace at the straits" on February 15, 1899 between Julio Argentino Roca and his Chilean counterpart Federico Errazuriz, as well as declaring Presidents Nicolás Maduro (Venezuela) and Miguel Díaz Canel (Cuba) and Bolivian ex-president Evo Morales personae non gratae, along with "repudiating a meeting of foreign coca-planting movements on Argentine soil."

Villarruel has also sparked controversy over her use of plane tickets provided by congressional funds. Last year, Perfil reported that she had taken 20 flights in two months, despite representing the City of Buenos Aires and thus not having to return to an inland province like other legislators.

"I’m a National Deputy from La Quiaca to Ushuaia and I’m going to go to all the corners of the country where there are Argentines who are not being heard. While not in session, I will meet with all the Argentines I can because where they are not being heard, they have here a deputy on whom they can count," she responded on Twitter, addressing the claims.

A University of Buenos Aires graduate, Villarruel heads the Partido Demócrata in Buenos Aires Province and presides the Asociación Civil Centro de Estudios Legales sobre el Terrorismo y sus Víctimas. 

In her letter of presentation, she also points out that she is a technical expert in urban and port security and the author of two books (one of them co-authored), both on the 1970s and guerrillas.

Apart from what Villarruel represents in ideological terms, fitting in perfectly with what Milei professes in socio-economic terms, she is key to the international recognition and relations of La Libertad Avanza, for example, thanks to her links to the Spanish ultra-right party Vox and as a faithful follower of the movements of Eduardo Bolsonaro in Brazil. 



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