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Gabriel Boric elected president of Chile

Date: 22 December 2021 Tags: Appointments & Resignations

Issue

Former student activist, Gabriel Boric was elected as the president of Chile. At 35 years, he will be Chile’s youngest president.

 

Background

Chile has been reeling under frequent protests and there are also concerns about its plan of drafting a new constitution.

 

Details

  • Boric will be Chile’s most liberal President since Salvador Allende, who was removed during the 1973 military coup and which brought 17 years of dictatorship.

  • Boric will assume office at a crucial juncture when there are expected challenges in legal and political changes on issues such as gender equality, Indigenous rights and environmental protections.

 

Election campaign

  • Boric managed to win votes on the back of promise such as pledging to reduce inequality and raising taxes on the rich to fund an expansion of the social safety net, more generous pensions and a greener economy.

  • Far-right former lawmaker José Antonio Kast was the challenger to Boric. Kast had opposed Boric saying that the leader would destroy one of the region’s most solid economies.

  • After counting of votes, Boric managed to win 55% of popular vote compared to 44% by Kast. The nature of win surprised political observers as the race was assumed to be tighter.

  • Kast has conceded the election by congratulating Boric on his victory. He assured his full support and respect to the president-elect.

 

Concerns

The election was one of the most polarizing ones in recent times. There were contrasting views on state of the economy, the rights of historically marginalized groups and public safety.