BUENOS AIRES, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Argentina elected libertarian outsider Javier Milei as its new president on Sunday, rolling the dice on an outsider with radical views to fix an economy battered by triple-digit inflation, a looming recession and rising poverty.
Official results showed Milei with near 56% versus 44% for his rival, Peronist Economy Minister Sergio Massa, who conceded in a speech. His candidacy was hampered by the country's worst economic crisis in two decades while he has been at the helm.
"Obviously the results are not what we expected. I have contacted Javier Milei to congratulate him," Massa said. "From tomorrow the responsibility of providing certainty belongs to Milei."
Milei is pledging economic shock therapy. His plans include shutting the central bank, ditching the peso, and slashing spending, potentially painful reforms that resonated with voters angry at the economic malaise.
"Milei is the new thing, he's a bit of an unknown and it is a little scary, but it's time to turn over a new page," said 31-year-old restaurant worker Cristian as he voted on Sunday.