Society

Leftist Gabriel Boric is elected president of Chile

Boric will be Chile's youngest-ever president, and is the name behind a remarkable rise for the Andean nation's progressive left

Gabriel Boric Chile
Chilean president-elected Gabriel Boric speaks during his closing campaign rally in Santiago, Chile, December 16, 2021. Photo: REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido/File Photo
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The Chilean people chose their new president: Gabriel Boric. The 35-year-old former student leader prevails in the most polarized dispute in Chile in recent times as he defeated ultra-right lawyer José Antonio Kast.

At around 8:30 pm, with 99.72% of the ballots counted, Boric had 55.86% of the votes, against 44.14% of Kast. The data was provided by the Chilean Electoral Service. Thus, the candidate of the left-wing Convergência Social Party will be the youngest-ever president in the history of Chile.

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In the first round, the former student leader had come second, behind Kast by 2.1 points. In the second round, the leftist won majority of voters who were — for the first time in a long time — without a center candidate to turn to.

On his Twitter account, Gabriel Boric posted the message: “We are unity. We are hope. We are more when we are together. Let’s go!”.

His opponent also used a social media message as a way to congratulate Boric. Kast published: “I just spoke to @gabrielboric and congratulated him on his great triumph. As of today, he is the elected president of Chile and deserves all our respect and constructive collaboration. Chile always comes first”.

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The two candidates have very different visions and projects for the future of Chile. The ultra-conservative Kast presented a defense of the “economic growth” brought by the regime of former dictator Augusto Pinochet, while Boric raised the banner of social change.

Chile‘s elected president emerged as an exponent of student protests for better quality of education in 2019. The series of popular uprisings led the Latin American country to call, in an unprecedented way, a plebiscite to draft a new Constitution.

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