- BBC News World
Chile voted for the extremes in the first round of the presidential elections: the right-wing José Antonio Kast and Gabriel Boric will contest a polarized ballot.
With 88% of the tables scrutinized in the elections held this Sunday, Kast, a radical right, and Boric, a left-wing candidate, are the ones who add the most votes and will contest the presidency of the country on December 19.
closet, a 55-year-old lawyer, married and father of 9 children and who shows sympathy with the de facto government of Augusto Pinochet, adds at the moment the 28% support, for him 25% from Boric, a 35-year-old former student leader who seeks to be the youngest president in Chilean history.
The liberal Franco Parisi it is third with just over 13%.
It will be the first time since the return to democracy in 1990 that the presidency will not be contested by the traditional center-left and center-right parties.
Since the return to democracy, in Chile the one who obtained the most votes in the first round has always become president, but the fragmentation of the vote in this first round makes it difficult to predict the results of December.
Election day was marked by long lines of voters waiting for their turn amid the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.
“I congratulate José Antonio Kast and Gabriel Boric for having triumphed in the first round,” said the president Sebastian Piñera, who could not stand for reelection and will leave the post in March 2022.
Piñera asked both to avoid polarization and confrontation in the run-up to the second round.
The presidential election comes at a time of change in Chile after two years of a social outbreak that led to the election of a Constituent Convention, charged with drafting a new Constitution.
On the day, parliamentarians – the 155 members of the Chamber of Deputies and 27 of whom will be 50 senators – and regional councilors were also chosen, forming the political board for the next few years, pending the results of the work of the Constituent Assembly.
“Vocation of the majority”
Kast celebrated the triumph with the Chilean flag.
“We have the vocation of the majority. Chile deserves peace, freedom and that is what we are going to give it,” said the right-winger in his celebration speech.
“We have an enormous challenge: to summon many more people, all those who did not dare to vote for us. We want to welcome them, that they come to work for order, peace and freedom,” added Kast, repeating one of his campaign slogans.
“We are the only candidacy that is going to regain peace, confront criminals and drug traffickers, to put an end to terrorism. There is no other presidential option than ours,” he added, emphasizing the issue of security.
Kasta identified Boric with the Communist Party, one of the left-wing politician’s allies.
“Boric and the Communist Party want to pardon the vandals who destroy. They meet with terrorists and murderers. They want instability, close borders to trade, advance down the path of hatred,” he attacked his rival in the ballot.
“We do not want the route that leads us to be Venezuela and Cuba,” added Kast, wanting to identify Boric with the leftist projects of those countries.
“Freedom and democracy versus communism”, I leave as a slogan of what you want the second round of December 19 to be.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.