SANTIAGO, Chile – A left-wing millennial, known during anti-government protests, was elected the next President of Chile on Sunday after a bloody campaign against a free market arsonist compared to Donald Trump.
At 68 % of 46,887 polling stations Gabriel Boric had 55% of the vote, compared with 45% for his opponent, the legislator José Antonio Kast.
Kast acknowledged the defeat and called his opponent to say his « great triumph » congratulations as Boric supporters gathered in downtown Santiago to celebrate.
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) – A millennial former student protest leader saw victory in the presidential runoff in Chile on Sunday after bruising a free-market arsonist who has been compared to Donald Trump.
With 50% of 46,887 polling stations, Gabriel Boric had 55% of the vote, compared to 45% for his n Opponent, the lawmaker José Antonio Kast.
Kast, who has defended Chile’s military dictatorship in the past, was ahead in the first ballot last month but was unable to secure a majority of the votes. That led to a head-to-head duel with Boric, who ended up two points behind.
If Boric’s lead would persist, he would be the first candidate to be elected president after losing in the first round. He was able to reverse the difference by expanding beyond his base in the capital, Santiago, and attracting voters in rural areas who did not ally themselves with political extremes. In the northern region of Antofagasta, for example, where he finished third in the first ballot, he exceeded Kast by around 20 points.
Kast, 55, a devout Catholic and father of nine children, emerged from the right margin after He won less than 8% of the vote in 2017 over fears among Chileans that an increase in migration – from Haiti and Venezuela – is driving crime.
As a longtime lawmaker, he has attacked the Chilean LGBTQ community and advocated more restrictive ones Abortion laws put in place. He also accused outgoing President Sebastian Pinera, a Conservative, of betraying the economic legacy of General Augusto Pinochet, the country’s former military leader. Kast’s brother, Miguel, was one of Pinochet’s top advisors.
Boric, 35, was to become Chile’s youngest modern president. He was one of several activists elected to Congress in 2014 after leading protests for better education. If elected, he will “bury” the neoliberal economic model left behind by Pinochet and raise taxes for the “super-rich” in order to expand social benefits, combat inequality and strengthen environmental protection.
“I’m not an extremist. … I don’t feel quite right, ”Kast announced in the last piece, although he was followed by revelations that his German-born father was a member of Adolf Hitler’s NSDAP.
Meanwhile, Boric, who left a coalition Parties are supported, which includes the Communist Party of Chile, more centrist advisors are brought into his team and he is promised that all changes will be gradual and financially responsible.
« On both sides, people vote out of fear, » says Robert Funk, political scientist at the University of Chile. « Both sides are particularly enthusiastic about their candidate, but they vote out of fear of an authoritarian relapse at Kast or out of fear that Boric is too young, inexperienced and communist-oriented. »
Whoever wins probably has a tight mandate and will constricted by a divided Congress.
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In addition, the political rules could soon change with a newly elected convention rewriting the Pinochet-era country’s constitution. The convention – the most powerful elected institution in the country – could theoretically call for new presidential elections if it concludes its work next year and the new charter is ratified in a referendum.
Associated Press author Patricia Luna reported in Santiago and AP writer Joshua Goodman reported from Miami.
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