The second round of Chilean presidential elections this Sunday came against Gabriel Boric, who was supported by a coalition of left parties including the Communist Party led by Jose Antonio Kast, a radical right candidate who claims to be the heir of Augusto Pinochet.
After 90% of the ballots had been counted, Gabriel Boric’s victory seemed inevitable with almost 55% of the Chilean votes. His rival Jose Antonio Kast had to admit defeat. In the first ballot, the right-wing extremist candidate Kast prevailed with 27.9% of the vote, ahead of Gabriel Boric, 25.8% on November 21. The two candidates had since moderated their speech to allay the fear their positioning might instigate. For Gabriel Boric, the support of the Communist Party provoked rejection from part of the Chilean population. For Jose Antonio Kast, these statements in favor of the Pinochetist legacy brought back bad memories for many Chileans.
Gabriel Boric is a former student activist who is very active in the social mobilization movements that have moved the country for several years. The questioning of the ultra-liberal system established by dictator Augusto Pinochet between 1973 and 1990 was the main component of this social unrest. This exploded in October 2019 after mundane transport ticket increases in Santiago, but crystallized out all of the country’s social frustrations. The country’s almost insurgent situation forced right-wing President Sebastian Pinera to accept the convening of a constituent assembly tasked with ending the dictator’s most important legacy: the 1980 Constitution, which created the ultra-liberal dimension of the Chilean economy that was led by the Chicago Boys was chased in stone. Signs of a clear break with the past: The constituent assembly is chaired by a Mapuche activist, an Indian ethnic group from the south of the country that has always opposed central power, be it during colonization or after independence.
Candidate Jose Antonio Kast has largely toyed with the fears raised by the 2019 social movement and the direction of the Constituent Assembly. Lately the passage of a law promoting abortion has strengthened a section of the electorate in their support for the far-right candidate who defended the status quo to “acquired through Pinochetism»Both in the economic and in the social area.
Part of the population expressed concern about the changes taking place and the “Return of communism»Represented by the election of Gabriel Boric. The north of the country voted mainly for Jose Antonio Kast, who denounced “massive immigration to the countryThe region takes in many migrants, especially Venezuelans and Haitians. The Arauca in the south also voted with an overwhelming majority for the candidate Kast, the Mapuche movements created a situation of great instability.
In most of the urban areas Gabriel Boric won the majority of the vote, his speech for the “End of the status quo“And the reform of the country’s political and social system has convinced the majority of Chileans. Since the fall of Pinochet, reforms have only taken place marginally, leading to severe social inequalities despite a prosperous economy. The Chileans are now waiting to reap the fruits of this thriving economy and are counting on Gabriel Boric to do so and support the changes with the new Constituent Assembly.
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