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A highly polarized second round is looming in Chile

Gabriel Boric and José Antonio Kast start with a technical draw and the polls give an open stage for anyone to win.

After last Sunday’s elections, Chileans are preparing for a ballot between two candidates who represent antagonistic views of the country.

On the one hand there is the young deputy Gabriel Boric (35 years old), who is the representative of the I Approve Dignity coalition, which brings together left and extreme left parties, which has seen its acceptance grow since the social outbreak of 2019, which was channeled into the realization of a new constitution through the Constituent Convention that is currently developing in the country.

His opponent is former deputy José Antonio Kast (55 years old), who after a long career in the conservative Independent Democratic Union created the Republican Party, considered far-right and Pinochet. Its rise is due to several factors, including protests and the defense of the economic model that one sector fears will be increasingly affected by the increase in power of the left forces. It can also be mentioned that the low acceptance achieved by the center-right candidate, Sebastián Sichel, made them see Kast as a more viable option to stop the aforementioned.

Kast’s option obtained 27.91% of the votes, confirming the rise predicted by the polls by gobbling up the more conservative vote on the right that traditionally votes for more moderate options, compared to Boric’s 25.83%.

According to a poll published this Monday by the Cadem house, for the second round the two candidates start tied with a 39% preference among Chileans, while 22% of those surveyed still do not know who they will vote for.

It will also be necessary to see who can get more voters to go to the polls, since only 47.6% of a list of 15 million voted, although the Electoral Service of Chile indicated that it is more than in the first round of 2017.

In the foreign vote (34,000 votes) the winner was Boric, with 53%, and Kast obtained 21%. In this category, the votes in Ecuador are counted: Kast was the one who obtained the most votes.

Sebastián Ortiz de Rozas, Kast electoral representative who supervised the process in Guayaquil, He commented that he was happy with the result: “Millions of us Chileans are happy and hopeful with the result obtained in yesterday’s elections. To work for a united Chile, the Chile of always. I invite you all to listen to the words of the future president, José Antonio Kast: he calls for peace, for reconstruction, to resume the path of progress, of growth; and, as fundamental ideas to govern, join all Chileans, from all political fields. Kast will be the president of all Chileans. He calls for a smaller State, without public positions for politicians; These will be obtained by merit, by abilities ”.

Meanwhile, Alfonso Mallegas, Boric’s electoral representative, believes that this is the moment to give confidence to young people to make the changes that Chile needs: “It is a surprising first round, since the far-right José Antonio Kast and the representative of the left Gabriel Boric are in a technical tie (… ). And the dispersion of votes affected the representative of the left more (…). What is clear now is that the center parties, which previously formed the Concertación de Partidos por la Democracia, will have to support Gabriel Boric to prevent the extreme right from reaching La Moneda (…). You already know what happens with the extreme right-wing populists, just look at the cases of (Jair) Bolsonaro in Brazil and (Donald) Trump in the US (…) In short, I think Boric will win in second place back, but it will be in a very polarized and quite aggressive campaign ”.

The support of the candidates who did not pass will be important to define an election that according to all analysts is completely open for both options. (I)

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