Leftist Millennial Wins Election as Chile’s Next President | World News


SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — A leftist millennial who rose to prominence throughout anti-government protests was elected Chile’s subsequent president Sunday after a bruising marketing campaign towards a free-market firebrand likened to Donald Trump.

With greater than 90% of polling stations reporting, Gabriel Boric had 56% of the votes, in comparison with 44% for his opponent, lawmaker José Antonio Kast.

Kast tweeted a photograph of himself on the cellphone together with his opponent congratulating him on his “grand triumph” as supporters of Boric gathered in downtown Santiago to have fun. Outgoing President Sebastian Pinera held a video convention name with Boric to congratulate him.


“I am going to be the president of all Chileans,” Boric stated within the temporary televised look with Pinera.

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Boric, 35, will grow to be Chile’s youngest trendy president when he takes workplace in March. He was amongst a number of activists elected to Congress in 2014 after main protests for increased high quality schooling. On the stump, he vowed to “bury” the neoliberal financial mannequin left by Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s 1973-1990 dictatorship and lift taxes on the “super rich” to broaden social companies, combat inequality and enhance protections of the setting.

Kast, who has a historical past of defending Chile’s previous navy dictatorship, completed forward of Boric by two factors within the first spherical of voting final month however did not safe a majority of votes. That arrange a head-to-head runoff towards Boric.


Boric was in a position to reverse the distinction by a bigger margin than even pre-election opinion polls forecast by increasing past his base within the capital, Santiago, and attracting voters in rural areas who do not aspect with political extremes. For instance, within the northern area of Antofagasta, the place he completed third within the first spherical of voting, he trounced Kast by virtually 20 factors.

Kast, 55, a religious Roman Catholic and father of 9, emerged from the far proper fringe after having received lower than 8% of the vote in 2017. He rose steadily within the polls this time with a divisive discourse emphasizing conservative household values and taking part in on Chileans’ fears {that a} surge in migration — from Haiti and Venezuela — is driving crime.

A longtime lawmaker, he has a file of attacking Chile’s LGBTQ neighborhood and advocating extra restrictive abortion legal guidelines. He additionally accused outgoing President Sebastian Pinera, a fellow conservative, of betraying the financial legacy of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, the nation’s former navy chief. Kast’s brother, Miguel, was one in all Pinochet’s prime advisers.

In latest days, each candidates tried to veer towards the middle.

“I’m not an extremist. … I don’t feel far right,” Kast proclaimed within the last stretch even as he was dogged by revelations that his German-born father had been a card-carrying member of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi celebration.

Boric, who’s backed by a coalition of leftist events that features Chile’s Communist Party, introduced extra centrist advisers onto his crew and promised that any adjustments can be gradual and fiscally accountable.

“On both sides, people are voting out of fear,” Robert Funk, a political scientist on the University of Chile, stated earlier than the vote depend. “Neither side is particularly enthused with their candidate but they are voting out of fear that, if Kast wins, there will an authoritarian regression or because they fear Boric is too young, inexperienced and aligned with the communists.”

Boric’s victory prone to be tempered by a divided congress.

In addition, the political guidelines might quickly change as a result of a newly elected conference is rewriting the nation’s Pinochet-era structure. The conference — the nation’s strongest elected establishment — might in concept name for brand new presidential elections when it concludes its work subsequent yr and if the brand new constitution is ratified in a plebiscite.

Associated Press author Patricia Luna reported in Santiago and AP author Joshua Goodman reported from Miami.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials might not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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