Opposition coalition Juntos por el Cambio (JxC) met far-right economist Javier Milei’s victory in Argentina’s presidential elections with mixed reactions. While most hardline members celebrated, others announced they would be leaving the coalition and turning into Milei’s opposition starting December 10, when the president-elect takes office.
Milei met with former President Mauricio Macri — co-founder of JxC — and former Security Minister Patricia Bullrich on Sunday night at the Libertador Hotel after his victory was announced. Macri and Bullrich are both leaders of the PRO party, one of the three main parties that make up JxC. They had announced they would be personally supporting Milei after Bullrich came third in October’s general elections, where she ran for president against Milei. However, neither JxC nor PRO have become official members of Milei’s coalition La Libertad Avanza (LLA), at least for now.
The Herald reached out to Bullrich’s press team to ask about the meeting. Although the contents of their late-night conversation were not revealed, Macri congratulated Milei in a lengthy X (formerly Twitter) post.
“Most Argentines have overwhelmingly expressed themselves choosing change and rejecting continuity,” Macri said, adding that Milei “knew how to listen to the voice of the young and the fatigue of millions of disadvantaged and impoverished people.”
“The responsibility over the economic disaster created by the current government, especially by [Sergio] Massa’s administration [as Economy Minister] cannot be exonerated so easily when they hand over a broken country,” Macri said. He added that Milei will need “support, trust and patience” and that a “spectacular future” is ahead of Argentina.
Bullrich “wholeheartedly” congratulated Milei on an X post for his “overwhelming and historical victory” and said that the “great change” JxC has been working on for years won on Sunday’s elections.
Luis Petri, who ran as Bullrich’s vice presidential candidate in the primaries and general elections, said that “hope, change and freedom won with Milei’s victory.” Petri is a member of the Unión Cívica Radical (UCR), the oldest existing party in Argentina and one of the main parties in JxC, along with Coalición Cívica. Petri is the only prominent UCR member who publicly supports Milei.
UCR president and Jujuy Governor Gerardo Morales had harshly criticized Macri, Bullrich and Petri after they announced they would be backing him in October, and confirmed the UCR’s virtual separation from JxC later last month, saying the party won’t answer to anyone anymore. Now, he accepted the results and wished Milei success in his administration.
Fellow UCR member and national senator Martín Lousteau, who spoke against Macri and Bullrich alongside Morales in October, said on Sunday night on X that UCR members “will be a responsible opposition in Congress,” confirming that the UCR — or at least his party, Evolución Radical — will not be supporting LLA.
Buenos Aires City Mayor and PRO member Horacio Rodríguez Larreta — who had rejected Macri and Bullrich’s unilateral decision to support Milei and said that voting for him would be like jumping into the abyss — congratulated Milei in an X post, saying that LLA will have the “huge responsibility” of taking Argentines out of the current economic crisis.
“From my place, I will keep working to build a country where we can all live better,” said Larreta, whose term as mayor will end on December 10.
Coalición Cívica leader Elisa Carrió was most condemning of JxC, criticizing Macri and Bullrich particularly. She confirmed the party’s exit from JxC — she had described the opposition bloc as “broken” after Bullrich publicly backed Milei. In a voice note sent to the press on Sunday night, Carrió said Coalición Cívica is getting back its “full autonomy.”
“Seeing that the Juntos por el Cambio coalition has been broken against the Coalición Cívica’s will, Elisa Carrió and the Coalición Cívica take back their full autonomy and will fight for their foundational principles, the moral contract, the republican contract, and the contract for [Argentina’s] economic development.”
Carrió added that neither she nor her party will negotiate with Milei and his allies as their role is to “rebuild the republic when it is threatened.”
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