The defeated Argentinian presidential candidate Patricia Bullrich, who came third in Sunday’s election, has endorsed the libertarian firebrand Javier Milei for next month’s runoff vote.
In the initial round of voting, Bullrich received 23.8% of the total votes, placing third behind the unexpected lead candidate, economy minister Sergio Massa, who won 36.7%, and Milei, who obtained slightly over 30%.
On Wednesday, Bullrich stated that the country requires a significant transformation. He cautioned against the continuation of what he believes is the worst government in history, referring to Massa’s alliance with Unión por la Patria, which is headed by former president and current vice-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
Fernández de Kirchner has held either the position of president or vice-president for a total of 12 years within the past 20 years. Prior to her, her late husband Néstor Kirchner served as president from 2003-2007.
Bullrich emphasized the importance of taking a stance and not remaining neutral in the current situation. He stated that Argentina should not embark on another Kirchnerist era under the leadership of Sergio Massa.
Bullrich’s statements were made as her coalition, “Together for Change,” divided into its three individual parties.
While the former security minister pledged to set aside her “differences” with Milei, Elisa Carrió, of the Civic Coalition party, said she remained horrified by Milei’s policy positions, including the legalization of the organ trade, potentially the sale of children and the dollarization of Argentina’s economy, which Carrió has warned would open the country’s financial markets to drug cartels.
According to Carrió, we will not engage in the unethical practice of selling organs or support the sale of children and the legalization of drug trafficking. These actions would violate human rights and ultimately result in crimes against humanity.
The centrist Radical party, one of the members of the alliance, has announced its opposition to Bullrich’s new ally. In a statement, they expressed that their beliefs are completely opposite to the demagogic extremism of Javier Milei.
Gerardo Morales, the leader of the Radical party, expressed feeling “embarrassed” over Bullrich’s choice.
If Milei combines the 24% of votes received by Bullrich on Sunday with his own 30%, he will have sufficient support to defeat Massa. However, Massa is aiming to gain votes from Bullrich and Milei’s disillusioned supporters in order to sway the outcome.
Bullrich hails from a patrician family and has held cabinet posts and legislative seats in various governments, representing the very political establishment Milei had vowed to extirpate. It is also doubtful if Bullrich’s conservative supporters can stomach the unorthodox Milei.
But such political malleability comes naturally to the 67-year-old politician whose first step into politics was as a teenage member of the leftwing Montoneros guerrilla group. Bullrich has at different times represented the Peronist party, the centrist Radicals and various conservative alliances.
In the midst of the 2023 election race, Milei brought up her history as a guerrilla and accused Bullrich of placing bombs in schools. Bullrich retaliated by taking legal action for slander.
During the press conference on Wednesday, Bullrich was asked about the altercation and stated that she had chosen to forgive Milei and drop the charges. In response, Milei clarified that his intention was to say that “she caused harm in a situation involving a child.”
A recent survey released on Wednesday by the newspaper Clarín, which is critical of Kirchner, revealed that Milei and Massa are in a close race for the runoff. According to the poll, Milei is at 41.6% and Massa at 40.4%, with a margin of error of 2.4%.
The upcoming November election may have a significant number of absent voters, as 10.4% of respondents stated they would not be casting a ballot and 7.5% were still undecided.