An Argentine politician, who has previously spoken positively about Bitcoin (BTC) and called for the abolishment of his country’s central bank, has taken the lead in the country’s presidential open primary elections.
With over 90% of the votes counted, libertarian pro-Bitcoin candidate Javier Milei is leading with nearly 32%. He is trailed by the conservative Together for Change (Juntos por el Cambio) party, with just under 30%, according to Bloomberg data.
Meanwhile, the left-wing Union for the Homeland (Unión por la Patria) coalition — the incumbent government’s group — is third with just over 28.5% of the vote.
The primary elections determine the final candidates for a presidential ballot which is set for October. The results can be seen as an early gauge ahead of the general election.
Milei founded and leads the Liberty Advances (La Libertad Avanza) coalition, whose views have been described as anywhere between libertarian and far-right.
He has said Bitcoin is a reaction against “central bank scammers” and claimed fiat currency allows politicians to scam Argentines with inflation.
Javier Milei is running for President of Argentina.— Alex Stanczyk ∞/21m (@alexstanczyk) January 5, 2023
He appears to understand money, and that inflation is an unfair mechanism that advantages elites over the people and slowly robs people of their means of survival. pic.twitter.com/tj0KEztUzI
Argentina’s general presidential election will be held on Oct. 22. If no candidate secures at least 45% of votes, a run-off election will be held in November.
Update (Aug. 14, 11:02 pm UTC): This article has been updated to add an explainer of the primary election, and a more accurate description of Javier Milei's stance towards Bitcoin.