Presidential elections in Chile: the crucial points of the second round between José Antonio Kast and Gabriel Boric | International

O Chile returns to the polls not next Sunday, December 19, after a series of elections since October 2020. In the last 15 months, Chileans have had to vote no constitutional referendum, in the elections to elect the constituent deputies, prefects, vereadores and governors , in the presidential primaries, not the first presidential shift, parliamentarians, regional councilors and, this time, not the second shift for the Palácio de La Moneda. But, some specialists have been alerted to a possible electoral fatigue, the presidential race is heated. Within a few days, Gabriel Boric, 35, deputy of the Ampla Front in alliance with the Communist Party, and José Antonio Kast, 55, an ultra-conservative lawyer, extreme leader of the Republican Party, will face each other with opposing proposals.

Despite the fact that they were moderated or took for the second round —because 46% of two voters did not vote for them on November 21, plus two other five candidates—, they represent diametrically different models in content and form. Tem, contudo, a semelhança: both will emerge unexpectedly in each of their sectors of the political spectrum and less than a year ago, no one imagined that the succession of Sebastian Piñera would be resolved between them. Both also have strong ties with Spanish parties: while Kast has relationships with VOX, Boric maintains historical ties with Podemos.

The appearance at the polls continues to be an unknown: in a country with high rates of abstention, in which the vote is not mandatory, not the first turn, only 47% two voters go to the polls.

Like Boric e Kast chegam ao second turn?

On November 21 there was a surprise for the left. The investigations predict that Boric and Kast will advance to the second round, or the leader of the Republican Party will be in first place and with two points in front of the deputy of the Ampla Front: 27.9% against 25.8%, respectively, or that they will not it was expected. Since 1999, as the winner of the first round, Chile has always won the presidency, but this time the analysts indicate that there are reasons to think of a reversal of results. Especially because there is a huge fatia of votes —46%— that need to be conquered.

The investigations indicate that Boric is ahead of Kast by varying margins, some narrow and others wider. If the deputy wins not next Sunday, it will not be a surprise.

What support Kast tem?

Kast managed to quickly order directly, which once again showed his pragmatism. The parties of the government coalition, Chile Come on, join him, Kast will not be a candidate for the first round and has not disputed the presidential primaries held by each bloc in July. Both UDI and Renovação Nacional (RN) —the legends of the leadership in the transition— quickly expressed their support for Kast, as well as the Evópoli party, the liberal leadership, led by the nephew of the candidate, or Senator Felipe Kast, who did not maintain a good political relationship. The candidate, for his time, quase no resistance to changes in his program, demanded by his more moderate allies.

Who relutou em apoiá-lo was Sebastian Sichel, or government candidate for presidency, who came in fourth place, with 12.7% two votes. A week after the election, he surprised Kast with a request in exchange for his support, in a document that he called for Nine Commitments to Strengthen Democracy, demanding questões-chave as “unrestricted respect for human rights”. Logo depois, Sichel said that he supported Kast, because his terms had been accepted (Embarra had made it clear that Kast maintains goals as a proposal for a new state of emergency in which the president had the power to arrest people in their own homes or in localities that we are not in prison and are not destined for detention).

For his time, Kast incorporated the faces of women, an electorate that had been especially elusive with him, for his initial proposals of trying to merge the Ministry of Women with other pastes, for example. In this second part, he incorporated Paula Daza, who led the battle against covid-19, in the Undersecretary of Health, and a historical figure of the director, Evelyn Matthei, current prefect of the municipality of Providencia.

What support did Boric get?

Boric, together with his second-round campaign, is a great part of the legends that formed the Concertação, a center-left alliance that led the country between 1990 and 2010 (the governments of Patricio Aylwin, Eduardo Frei, Ricardo Lagos and the first term of Michelle Bachelet ) and what’s up now: the candidate Yasna Provoste came in fifth place, with 11.6% of two votes.

The first ones to support it “without conditions” are socialists, who for months have been in Boric’s plan of approach (in truth, we were looking for a joint presidential primary, which was vetoed by the left). It will be precisely not the Socialist Party that will be one of the main sources of tension if Boric will win, as seems to prove: farão will be part of an eventual Government, breaking the historical alliance with Democracia Cristã, which announced or supported Boric and will also remain in opposition, at the margin of two results on the 19th?

The Democrats-Christians will decide in an institutional meeting to give or support Boric “without conditions”, in a debate for which candidate sent a letter in which he deepens the questions that unite you and those that separate you, because they are two antagonistic forces in the last decade in Chile. “I know that generational arrogance is a greater counsel, that there is no virtue in itself in youth and in novelty, and that a political project must be judged by its convictions and principles, and by acting in accordance with them,” Boric stated in the letter.

Without previous negotiations, one of the two main supports for Boric in this period was that of Lagos, one of the figures that became the constant target of political attacks by the Ampla Front, since its irruption did not start two years in 2010: its policies were branded as “neoliberal”. At the very foundation of Michelle Bachelet, current UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, also joined Boric, however, in this case or support it seems foreseeable given the great harmony that the former president always had with the new generation of the left, emerged as the objective of replacing Concertação.

In his second shift campaign —which showed better mobilization and organization than Kast—, Boric incorporated popular figures, such as the doctor Izkia Siches, a very popular young professional since the pandemic.

Will the candidates be more moderate?

Both candidates have to take steps to attract the moderate sectors and, above all, because the Parliament that will launch the political forces in March will be tied. Who wants to win the election will have to appeal to dialogue and not an extreme or rupture program will have a future.

During this period, the candidates made important adjustments in their respective government programs. Both Boric and Kast logo de cara will incorporate into their teams respected economists from the government leadership and from the center-left to improve their proposals in the field, on issues as relevant as the tax burden (in his original programs, Boric sought to increase it in other points do GDP em oito anos e Kast, baixá-la em sete pontos, or that both moderated). It is Boric who, due to the emphasis on questions related to public security and the control of illegal immigration, issues that he explains in large part or first of Kast not in the first turn, or Republican, has to withdraw proposals from the campaign, as in search of the revocation of the law do abortion, permitted in three situations, in force since 2017.

Mas Kast maintains other controversial initiatives, such as the installation of a fence on the northern border of Chile to curb illegal immigration. “A vala sozinha —without including the fences that would prevent you from encouraging and pessoas caíssem nela— costs about 10 thousand dollars and we made a calculation for a fence of three meters deep by three meters wide”, he said in a recent debate not radio. Something similar happens with the proposal to promote a constitutional reform for a new state of emergency that gives the president greater powers, in case of disturbance of the public order.

What weight of the vote given to Parisi, or candidate who was in third place without stepping on Chile?

The vote reached by Franco Parisi, who came in third place not first place, with 12.8% two votes, is one of two aspects most analyzed by political specialists. In the first place, because he is an uncommon candidate: he lives in the United States, he does not step on Chile to make his campaign or vote, he has pending issues in Justice — a food pension process in Chile, promoted by his ex-wife, with whom tem filhos—e because with an antipolitical discourse tem cativated young people, mainly men, from the middle and lower classes of the north of the country. Because Paris is a strong part of Chile —especially affected by irregular immigration—, Boric has more solid support in large cities like Santiago and Kast, not south. In areas of Araucanía, with cities affected by violence in the context of the conflict between the Mapuches and the Chilean State due to land disputes, or the Republican obtained 42%.

However, nothing is evident if Paris could have the power to automatically transfer its votes to two two candidates for the Government, both of whom will do their best for this group of people. Kast appeared in a program that Parisi had on the YouTube platform, called bad boys, as soon as Boric said that he would go, more, later, remember. Parisi, who has an effective strategy on social networks, wrote on Twitter: “Given Boric’s decision to deprecate us, we invited him to talk with our community, we will do the same thing and we will detail his government plan with the impact that it could have for or Chile”.

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