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Argentina’s third-place presidential candidate endorses right-wing populist

BUENOS AIRES (AP) – Former Argentine presidential candidate Patricia Bullrich, who placed third in Sunday’s election, endorsed right-wing populist Javier Milei on Wednesday for next month’s runoff, a move that could rupture the country’s main centre-right opposition coalition.

Former security minister Bullrich received 24 per cent of the vote, compared to 37 per cent for Economy Minister Sergio Massa and 30 per cent for Milei.

“In the case of Javier Milei, we have differences, and that’s why we competed. We don’t overlook them.

“However, we are faced with the dilemma of change or the continuation of a mafia-style governance for Argentina and putting an end to the shame of the present. We have the obligation not to remain neutral,” Bullrich told a news conference.

“The country needs a fundamental change,” Bullrich added, warning against a “continuation of the worst government in history”.

Bullrich emphasised that she was speaking on behalf of her presidential team, including running mate Luis Petri, rather than their coalition.

Milei, a self-described anarcho-capitalist, competed with Bullrich for right-leaning votes in Sunday’s election.

Ahead of the vote, Milei harshly criticised Bullrich but has recently moderated his speech and even raised the possibility that she could join his Cabinet if he wins the presidency.

Former Argentine presidential candidate Patricia Bullrich. PHOTO: AFP