Presidential elections were held in Chile on Sunday. After the count of half of the votes cast is led by the far-right candidate, 55-year-old lawyer Jose Antonio Kast. Gabriel Boric, the MP, is in second place, behind the leader by four percentage points.
Caste gained the support of 28 percent of voters, while its fiercest opponent, Boric, 24 percent. However, to win the first round of the elections, a candidate would have to obtain the support of at least 50 percent of voters. Their rivalry will therefore be decided only by the second round of voting, which will take place on December 19.
The US-based Chilean center-right candidate Franco Parisi, who did not come to the country’s elections, came third, while Senator Yasna Provoste, a candidate for Christian Democrats, was fourth.
Sebastian Sichel, a candidate supported by the current president of Chile and conservative Sebastian Pinera, obtained only 12% of the vote after counting half of the votes cast. This was the result of a very serious weakening of President Pinery’s position after he avoided impeachment on a haircut on charges of illegal financial operations four days before the elections.
Participation in elections is not compulsory in Chile. In 2017, when Pinera was elected, only 48 percent voted. entitled.
Chileans more and more socially and politically engaged
However, after the massive 2019 demonstrations that were bloodily pacified by the police, caused by the rampant high prices, the involvement of the Chilean public in social rehabilitation movements and politics has increased significantly. It also influenced the mass participation of voters in Sunday’s voting despite the spring heat, which reached 30 degrees Celsius.
The Chair of the Constitutional Assembly working on the text of the new Chilean Basic Law, Elisa Lancon, speaking to the media on the eve of the elections, emphasized their fundamental importance for the future of Chilean democracy.
As she said, “Chileans made the decision last year in a popular vote to change the Constitution inherited from the military dictatorship of General Augusto Piniochet.” – The implementation of this task will be one of the main tasks of the new president of Chile, who will replace Sebastian Pinera in March 2022 – emphasized Lancon.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / ELVIS GONZALEZ