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Chile decides between Boric and Kast in their most important elections in decades

Chile holds the breath in the most momentous presidential elections of the last 30 years, in which the former left-wing student leader will fight to relieve the conservative Sebastián Piñera Gabriel Boric and the far right Jose Antonio Kast.

In the streets, in public transport or on the terraces of a summer in Chile there is no talk of anything other than this vote, which according to experts is the most decisive for the future of the country since the 1988 plebiscite that brought out the Augusto Pinochet power. More of 15 million people They are called to go to one of the 2,500 polling stations on Sunday, which as of today are guarded by the security forces, as explained by the Minister of the Interior, Rodrigo Delgado.

The latest polls agree that Boric would win the ballot with between 5 and 14 points of advantage, although experts affirm that the outlook is very uncertain taking into account the narrow margin between the two candidates in the first round -2 percentage points-.

To this is added that the participation of the last vote was so only 47% and that according to the latest forecasts, released on December 4 – the last day the law allows polls to be published – there is a large percentage of undecided.

According to the pollster Cadem, a quarter of the Chileans in the census are still not clear about their preference or will not go to the polls. “I’m not going to go, I like Chile as it is now, and those two candidates are not going to achieve anything. They are very extreme,” Melany Cavieres, a 28-year-old student from Santiago, told EFE. This feeling is shared by Luis Felipe, a middle-aged man who lives in a wealthy neighborhood in the capital.

None represent my ideas. I’m going to vote but only to prevent the one I don’t want from leaving, “he told Efe. During the day, Kast remained reserved and Boric made a call to participate from Magallanes, his native land, in the extreme south of the country.” We need them. There are projects that are very different at stake (…) and hope must win over fear, “he said.

The one that was for decades the most stable country in Latin America will have to choose between two candidates who bring under their arms more drastic proposals than those of the large blocks of the center-right and center-left that have shared power since the return to democracy in 1990. A 35-year-old congressman and leader of an alliance between the Broad Front and the Communist Party, Boric has a program that points to a Welfare state European-like, with a feminist and environmentalist accent.

He is the candidate for “profound changes” in pensions, education and health, and represents the part of Chilean society that participated in the massive protests for equality in 2019, María Cristina Escudero, a political scientist at the University, told Efe. From Chile. Kast, a fervent Catholic and leader of the far-right Republican Party, is a supporter of defend the current model with slight changes, based on the neoliberalism installed during the military dictatorship (1973-1990).

Contrary to equal marriage, abortion and advocate digging a trench on the border to prevent the passage of irregular migrants, Kast has declared fan by Jair Bolsonaro and Donald Trump. He is part of a family clan that had close ties to the Pinochet dictatorship and his promises of “order and security” led him to be the most voted candidate during the first round in November, with 27.9% support.

The next president, who will take office in March 2022 For a period of four years, he will have to heal the wounds left by the social crisis of 2019, a wave of massive protests for equality that left some thirty dead and put the current government and the security forces in check.

He will also lead the implementation of the regulations of the new constitution that began to be drafted this year and that could enter into force in 2022 if approved in an exit plebiscite. Another of the most urgent challenges will be to meet the needs of a working class economically in a hurry after the pandemic and whose social assistance ends this year, in addition to facing an inflation not seen in decades.

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