Wednesday, October 5

Chile opens up to uncertainty with the triumph of Gabriel Boric


Santiago de Chile

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The great unknown that the president-elect of Chile will have to elucidate Gabriel Boric In the coming weeks, it is how he will counterbalance the most radical groups of his I Approve Dignity pact and where the Communist Party is the majority partner.

After becoming the youngest and most voted ruler in the country’s history on Sunday, Boric began his path to The coin with a protocol and coordination meeting for the transfer of command with the president Sebastian Piñera.

With almost 100% of the polls scrutinized, the Frente Amplio deputy surpassed by almost 12 points the standard-bearer of the right Jose Antonio Kast, who acknowledged his defeat early on Sunday.

The computations give Boric 55.87% of the votes against 44.13% for Kast; in practice, the president-elect obtained more than 4,620,000 votes from an electoral roll of 15 million.

The second round was not only surprising because of the great distance between the two candidates, but also because the high abstention trend that had been occurring since the voluntary vote was established in Chile was broken in 2012. The participation of more than 55% of the electorate may be due to to which was added a large number of new young voters.

With the strength of the figures, Boric now has only 81 days to set a route before assuming the presidency on March 11. She shed some light in her thank you speech before a crowd that gathered in downtown Santiago to celebrate the victory. In his speech he pointed out that “it will be a president who takes care of democracy and not the one who exposes it.” Moreover, he remarked: «Today we can be more certain than before about some things (…) destabilizing democratic institutions leads directly to the reign of abuse, the law of the jungle, and the suffering and helplessness of the weakest. We are going to take care of democracy, every day, every day ».

He also announced that the Congress that will accompany him and that he defined as balanced will be an opportunity to seek agreements. “I know that beyond the differences we have, in particular with José Antonio Kast, we will know how to build bridges between us so that our compatriots can live better,” he said.

The urgent challenges

And aware that he will have pressure from the right not to promote radical changes and from the extreme left to undertake them, he affirmed that it is necessary to “advance responsibly in the changes that Chile has been demanding, without leaving anyone behind.”

Boric comes to power in the heat of the social demands that arose in the social explosion for better pensions, health and education, as well as access to housing and security. What he describes as “social rights and not consumer goods.”

Between the first and second rounds he gave signs of moderation to be able to capture the political center that ran out of candidates (Franco Parisi, Sebastián Sichel and Yasna Provoste) and along that path he incorporated figures and economists from the former Concertación.

“It must show that its turn to moderation was not only strategic,” said analyst Marco Moreno. Meanwhile, the president of the Senate, the Christian Democrat Ximena Rincón, warned that the great mistake of the second government of Michelle Bachelet was to want to make many reforms at the same time. “It must be realistic,” he said.

Both right-wing leaders and analysts announced that the president-elect must give some signals to reassure the markets and investors and, therefore, urge him to reveal his economic team, especially the Minister of Finance, no later than mid-January. Economists who joined his runoff campaign acknowledged that deep differences still persist between them and the Wide Front.

The big question is whether he will expand his coalition beyond current borders and add the government to the Socialist Party, with which he is more in tune. Also, it is questioned what role the CP will play in its government, what positions it will occupy and its degree of influence, since it is the community that wants radical changes immediately. And it has the largest bench, with 12 deputies and two senators.

In fact, Boric, after November 21, reconsidered his support for a massive pardon for the prisoners of the revolt, indicating that it could not favor those who set fire and looted. Yesterday, deputy Karol Cariola insisted that this should be one of her first measures after taking office in March. On Sunday night it was learned that Boric’s first call was to the president of the Constitutional Convention, Elisa Loncón, to whom he promised his support to carry out that mission. In fact, he said that we must “take care of this process”, which will culminate in July 2022 with a proposal for a plebiscite.

The governance that he manages to give his administration is also in question: his teams are inexperienced young people under 40 who have never been in power.

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