They were the most uncertain elections since the return to democracy, and for the first time since 1990, two candidates from outside the traditional parties competed.
From the southernmost tip of Chile, 35-year-old leftist Gabriel Boric he became this Sunday the youngest president of Chile, a country with great social inequalities that the millennial leader wants to solve by promoting a welfare state.
With 92.12% of the polls scrutinized, the former student leader was elected in front of the far-right José Antonio Kast, a 55-year-old lawyer, more than 11 points apart.
President Guillermo Lasso greeted Gabriel Boric through his Twitter.
Boric’s resounding victory was immediately recognized by Kast and elicited the best wishes from the outgoing president, the conservative Sebastián Piñera, in a phone call that is traditionally tuned in by all television channels. Usually done with an old phone, but this time it was done by video call.
Boric, for whom “The country brings out the best in itself when we are united”, will lead a nation that draws up its new Constitution in a Constituent Convention, emanating from the social protests of October 2019.
You will also have to deal with the economic crisis derived from sanitary restrictions for the coronavirus pandemic.
“I realized that for Gabriel this was an apostolate and I stopped fighting. This for me is stepping on stones all the time; I wanted a more comfortable, more classic life (for him), ”his mother, María Soledad Font, told AFP from her native Punta Arenas, some 3,000 km south of Santiago.
In the midst of controversies, the presidential debate of Kast and Boric, candidates in the second round elections in Chile, took place
She didn’t want Boric enter politicsBut the wall of her old bedroom already showed a young man focused on her: “Let’s face it, let’s do the impossible” or “reason is strength”, is still read on the walls of the room on the second floor of his parents’ house.
“We are the heirs of those who have fought to make Chile a more just and dignified country”, Alleged in his campaign closing speech, during which he proposed a country focused on improving the basic rights of a population that suffers from serious inequality after following for 31 years the neoliberal model imposed during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973- 1990).
Chile is approaching the final stretch of the presidential race, which could face two totally opposite candidates
Start from behind
Although he says that “There is much to learn”, assures that he wants to feed on the “experience” of ex-presidents whom he criticized when he was a student leader and deputy, among them the socialists Ricardo Lagos (2000-2006) and Michelle Bachelet (2006-2010; 2014-2018). They both gave him a boost no cracks in recent weeks.
Boric is not afraid to change course. During the almost seven months The campaign manager modified his rebellious boy speech who led the 2011 student protests demanding “Free, quality public education”, that of a social democrat.
“I would say that his honesty and transparency, his openness to dialogueThey are two of Gabriel’s greatest virtues, and that in a next president for Chile is crucial ”, highlighted his brother Simón Boric, a 33-year-old journalist, in statements to AFP.
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His political transformation goes hand in hand with a makeover.
There is little left of bearded and disheveled young man who led the Federation of Students of the University of Chile (FECH) and that in 2014, when he was 27 years old, he assumed a first term as a deputy. Today he wears a jacket and shirt, with shorter hair, a neat beard and glasses.
Boric was born in the southern city of Punta Arenas, 3,000 km south of Santiago, into a middle-class family of Croatian and Catalan great-grandparents. It is the oldest of three brothers and he emigrated to Santiago to study law at the University of Chile, but has not yet graduated.
In the ballot campaign he asked that “Hope beats fear” Faced with criticism that he is branded as “extreme” for his alliance with the communists.
Avid reader, says poetry and history relaxes him.
Single and without children, he has been in a relationship with the political scientist Irina Karamanos for almost three years.
His detractors they reproach him for his lack of experience to lead a government and its most extreme positions of the past, for which it has apologized or declared that they were a mistake.
“Our generation breaks into politics in 2011 throwing away a little of the fears that the dictatorship and the transition pacts had generated, “he said in an interview with AFP before the first round.
He thus alluded to the Concertación, a center-left coalition that since 1990 governed a large part of the 31 years of democracy, and that today lies disintegrated and discredited as a reflection of the great crisis of institutional confidence, but that in the second round stood behind its figure.
You have said that, as president, you want “Ensure a welfare state so that everyone has the same rights, no matter how much money they have in their wallet.”
“If Chile was the cradle of neoliberalism in Latin America, it will also be its grave,” andexpressed in his proclamation as a candidate. (I)
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Gabriel Boric becomes the new president of Chile after historic elections | International | News