Seven candidates, of diverse ideology, will participate this Sunday of the first presidential round in Chili. The electoral debates of the last days have changed some certainties of the pollsters regarding at least one of the two candidates who will go to the second round, on December 13. There is a certainty that the leftist Gabriel Boric will be one of them. In the last hours, however, doubts arose if it will compete with the traditional right or with the Pinochetist far right. Anything can happen on Sunday and there is room for even bigger surprises.
Boric is the standard-bearer of the left-wing coalition I approve of Dignity in which the Wide Front, a formation that does not have ten years of existence but that has grown in the heat of social conflicts, and the Communist Party. Boric is a deputy. He is 35 years old and was forged in student struggles during the presidencies of Michelle bachelet and the first term of Sebastian Piñera. The deputy is a true exponent of the Chilean new left, to the point of having no qualms about criticizing the situation that exists in Cuba or challenge without mincing the tongue the re-election of the Nicaraguan Daniel Ortega. Its program also includes a strong environmental commitment.
Chilean version of the extreme right
José Antonio Kast belongs to Republican Party. He was previously a member of the Independent Democratic Union (UDI), a party founded during the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet (1973-90) but that, over the years, he moderated his speech in order to come to power. Lawyer and son of a ex-military nazi, Kast is a Chilean version of the extreme right in which ingredients of the trumpismo and some facets of Jair Bolsonaro. He came to head the polls, but had serious stumbles in the last debate that have left him very badly off and could compromise his pass to the second round.
Sebastian Sichel (Chile Vamos Más) has tried to defend in full adversity the legacy of the current government. To capture the electorate that already discards any progressive variant, it has even tried to run even to the center. But Piñera’s Pandora Papers scandal exploded and the splinters impacted his candidacy, to the point that some sectors of the right began to look at Kast with sympathy. However, Sichel beat the Republican candidate in the last discussion before the television screens and has returned to position in the race.
Christian Democrat Senator Yasna Provoste represents the center-left parties that, under the name of the Democratic Concertation, administered the country without interruptions between 1990 and 2010. Some surveys place it in fourth place. Others raise it to third place. What at this point seems clear to analysts is that the space that it integrates must reach an agreement with Boric to stop the eventual arrival of Kast to the Palace of the Currency or, failing that, Sichel.
The son of the guerrilla chief
Marco Enriquez-Ominami He is the biological son of Miguel Enríquez, Chilean guerrilla chief killed during the military regime. He was formed in the Socialist Party and broke up in 2010, when he first tried to run for the presidency. Since then, he has tried his luck again and again at the head of the Progressive Party. It has gone almost unnoticed in the campaign, save for the nickname he gave Kast during the recent debate: the scared doctor. An insufficient irony to strengthen their electoral chances.
At 54 years old, Franco Parisi went out to compete as a candidate for the Party for the People. His presence in the race has a touch of eccentricity. Parisi is not in Chile. He proselytized from the US state of Alabama and was unable to return to Santiago due to having contracted COVID. The liberal aspirant will miss the first round and there is no possibility of going to the second. If he lands in Santiago, he will have to face an adverse judicial scenario. He has an open court case for alleged fraud and another lawsuit for not paying alimony for two minor children.
Eduardo Artés he is a social leader who represents a marginal faction of the communist party, detached many years ago. The flag bearer of the Patriotic Union is a supporting actor in these elections. In the last elections, he barely obtained 0.57% of the votes.