Far-right candidate who wants to legalize organ sales wins Argentina's presidential primary

Argentine presidential candidate Javier Milei.
(Image credit: Luis Robayo / AFP via Getty Images)

Far-right libertarian candidate Javier Milei won Argentina's primary election on Sunday in a stunning rebuke of the country's two main political factions.

With 97% of the votes tabulated, Milei carried 30.4% of the vote, according to Bloomberg's polling results. In second place was the center-left UP Party's Sergio Massa with 21%, and in third place was the conservative JxC Party's Patricia Bullrich, with 16%. Milei's 30.4% is actually more than both of the other parties earned in total: the JxC candidates received a combined 28% and the UP candidates got a combined 27%.

The open primary was the first major step toward the country's Oct. 22 presidential election.

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While Milei was seen as an outsider who was originally polling at just 20%, his landslide primary victory proves that he "now has a clear shot at leading Argentina," The New York Times reported. This means that Argentina could become the latest country to see a shift toward the far right.

Milei has become well-known throughout Argentina for his political views. An admirer of former President Donald Trump, Milei has advocated for abolishing Argentina's national bank and shifting the currency from the Argentine peso to the U.S. dollar. He has also proposed closing state-owned businesses and shuttering a number of government ministries, and he made headlines when he floated legalizing the sale of human organs.

Milei's primary win is likely a direct result of Argentina's current economic and social woes. The country is on the brink of another recession and inflation is hovering around 114%, the third-highest in the world. Data compiled by The Economist shows that 43% of Argentines are living in poverty. If Milei were to be elected, though, his party would have limited congressional support, so "implementing [his] changes would lead to a major challenge," the Times reported.

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Justin Klawans

Justin Klawans is a staff writer at The Week. Based in Chicago, he was previously a breaking news reporter for Newsweek, writing breaking news and features for verticals including politics, U.S. and global affairs, business, crime, sports, and more. His reporting has been cited on many online platforms, in addition to CBS' The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

He is also passionate about entertainment and sports news, and has covered film, television, and casting news as a freelancer for outlets like Collider and United Press International, as well as Chicago sports news for Fansided.