Wednesday, January 19

The far right takes first place in the face of the Chilean elections

Kast, with a Captain America shield, in a file image.

“Whoever wins the election is going to have to take this Constitution and implement it,” warned the president of the Assembly in charge of drafting the future Chilean Magna Carta, Elisa Loncon. The words of the Mapuche leader had a resonance that political analysts explain with the result of the latest poll for the first presidential round, on November 21: the far-right Jose Antonio Kast, a defender of the dictator Augusto Pinochet who season his speeches with hints of Donald Trump, Jair Bolsonaro and Vox, has established itself in the first place of the polls. Chile could therefore have a progressive Constitution, if it is revalidated in a popular consultation, next year and, furthermore, a head of state located at the ideological antipodes and determined not to respect it. The conventional right-wing constituents lack veto power in the Assembly, but they have already shown determination to support this 55-year-old lawyer who recovers the most daring speeches of the Chilean extreme right, those of Homeland and Freedom, the group that conspired against the socialist government of Salvador Allende (1970-73).

According to the consulting firm Pulso Ciudadano, a 22.2% of the population would vote for Kast in three weeks. His candidacy grew six points in relation to the last poll. For his part, the young left-wing deputy, Gabriel Boric, fell almost four points and settled in second position, with 17.4% support. Yasna Provoste, the standard-bearer for the center-left, falls short of ten points. The rise of Kast explains the resounding collapse of Sebastián Sichel, the man who has the president’s blessing Sebastian Piñera, who only receives the adhesion of 6.9% of the voters. Part of the traditional right smelled failure and has already turned its back on it. Senator Claudio Alvarado, of the Independent Democratic Union (UDI), the party created in the 1980s in the image and likeness of Pinochet, was one of the first to join Kast’s crusade. As if they had seen a green light: other legislators and leaders of that space also decided to take the leap and abandon historical conservatism.

Alarm signal

In this context, the communist leader Guillermo Teiller considered that I Approve Dignity and New Social Pact, the Boric and Provoste coalitions, respectively, must immediately give signals that they will converge in a common action to stop Kast in the ballotage, December 19. “That candidacy that goes to the second round should attract the support of all the rest of the opposition. We subscribed to that and all the parties did it and some may regret it, but I hope it will not happen because we have a very great responsibility.”

“In these elections the cleavage will be between reaffirming the process of changes that Chile has been demanding from hope, or suffering a authoritarian and populist backlash that appeals to fear, ”said Congressman Giorgio Jackson.

Kast’s letters

Meanwhile, Kast advances. The specter of communism has become commonplace in the campaign. Also the diatribe against the immigrant and the claim of a strong and disciplining order that, it maintains, has been lost. The lawyer tunes in with repeated slogans in other latitudes. In fact, he has stamped his signature on the “Letter from Madrid” that promotes Vox and seeks to form an iron ideological pole against a left of nonexistent power.

According to Andrés Cabrera, columnist of the portal The counter, Kast repeats a script that he knows perfectly and that comes from the seventies: then, it was about “attract the political center to the disruptive positions of the right and, finally, destabilize and overthrow the government “of Salvador Allende.” We know that history never repeats itself in the same way, but it rhymes, “remarked Cabrera.

The outstanding poet Raul Zurita He put it in another, more dramatic way: “I’m terrified of Kast and I commit suicide before I vote for him, for what it represents, which is the opposite of what I think. Now, if he grows up, this too is real. ”

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