Far-right presidential candidate Javier Milei (La Libertad Avanza, LLA) denied that his agreement with former president Mauricio Macri meant he was now part of the political caste, calling Macri’s government between 2015 and 2019 a “failure” in an interview with Peruvian writer and journalist Jaime Bayly that aired Tuesday.
Milei scornfully refers to career politicians as “the caste” and his economic program as the “chainsaw plan” — a nod to his proposed wide-ranging budget cuts and drastically reducing the size of the state.
“I’d grade his administration as a 4 [out of 10]. He had the right ideas, the right direction, but he failed at the speed [needed to set them in motion],” Milei said, adding that Macri’s allies were to blame for his lack of success.
“He failed because he had a heterogeneous coalition. The Coalición Cívica, the left wing of the UCR, and the more moderate wing of PRO conspired against the general direction Macri wanted to take,” he said, referencing sectors of the three main parties that make up Juntos por el Cambio (JxC).
The opposition coalition is currently plagued by infighting over their position in the upcoming November 19 presidential run-off between Milei and Sergio Massa (Unión por la Patria). While Macri and Patricia Bullrich (both of PRO) have backed Milei, the Radical Party (UCR) has announced they will not back either candidate, a position shared by PRO member and Buenos Aires City mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta.
During the interview, Milei also made unfounded claims that there were “irregularities” in the October 22 elections, saying that the electoral authorities were “influenced” by the government’s executive branch.
Milei and his supporters have been making unfounded claims of electoral fraud since before the elections even happened. Authorities have contested those remarks, showing there is no evidence of foul play. Milei’s party has not presented any formal reports of fraud to the electoral authorities. LLA’s technical representative, Fernando Cerimedo, told the Herald there had been no fraud.