"Eine Zeit der Instabilität steht bevor" – Populismus-Expertin Yanina Welp über Javier Mileis Triumph in Argentinien (original)
El triunfo de Javier Milei en Argentina presagia inestabilidad
A vitória de Javier Milei na Argentina prenuncia instabilidade
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SWI swissinfo: Javier Milei has won the Argentinian presidency with a clear victory by 11 points. Are you surprised by this result?
Yanina Welp (YW): I'm not surprised by the result but I am surprised by the difference. The current government leaves a very negative economic and social legacy and the economy minister and presidential candidate failed to distance himself from his government. The relative surprise comes from the fact that the surveys did not give such a difference.
Political scientist and Latin America expert Yanina Welp is a Research Fellow at the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy, Graduate Institute. graduateinstitute
SWI: Forty years ago the Argentinian military dictatorship ended – and now the Argentinian people voted for a president, that denies or downplays the crimes committed during this regime. What are the reasons for that?
YW: I do not believe that the keys to this election have been in the democracy-authoritarianism cleavage (which the current government wanted to highlight) but in the continuity of change. People are tired and opted for change without considering its possible negative consequences.
SWI: Milei calls himself an anarcho-capitalist. How would you describe his politics?
YW: Inapplicable and undesirable.
SWI: If one considers Milei a populist, there is something distinctive: At the same time he is an expert in the field of economy. How does his position of an expert influence the way people perceive him and his politics?
YW: I don't think that graduating in economics makes a person an expert in economics. I do believe that a technical vocabulary that is difficult to understand accompanied by very aggressive verbiage and loaded with simplistic slogans explains the support he got from some sectors, particularly the youth. Others have supported him in rejection of Peronism.
Supporters of Javier Milei celebrate exuberantly in front of an Argentinian flag. Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved
SWI: Did people vote for Milei, because of his economic promises?
YW: The people who voted for him are looking for radical change. When asked about controversial points in his programme, the most frequent response was "he's not going to do it." The failures of the political elite that governed the country in these twenty years earned Milei's triumph.
SWI: Among other things Milei asked during his campaign for the abolishment of the central bank and shut down most of ministries, among them those for health and science. How easily can he abolish and modify these institutions as a president?
YW: There are issues that are very difficult to implement. Dollarization, for example, could be unconstitutional. There are others for which parliamentary support is required that in principle Libertad Avanza does not have. Although the support of former President Macri has been key in Milei's victory, it does not guarantee him the required legislative support. There will be many movements within the coalitions that have organised the competition so far. I think there are times of instability ahead.
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