Chile, between panic to the extreme right and electoral apathy

  • Two polls give Gabriel Boric the victory in the second round but those omens do not reduce the fear of a possible victory for Kast

This is a life or death thing“Even a charitable old man rockstar like the Englishman Roger Waters, he felt obliged to take sides in the Chilean second round of elections. The alarms have been sounding since in the first round of the presidential elections, on November 21, the far-right José Antonio Kast surpassed the young left-wing deputy Gabriel Boric by a little more than two points. On December 19, the name of the successor of the tycoon Sebastián Piñera. According to the Plaza Pública Cadem study center, Boric, the candidate of Approve Dignity, the coalition made up of a new left that emerged from the student protests of a decade ago and the Communist Party, would obtain a 39% of the votes, against 33% of the effusive cultivator of the figure of Augusto Pinochet. For the consulting firm Activa Research, the standard-bearer for Approve Dignity would reach the 40.4% of the votes, compared to 24.5% of its rival. The polls should have brought some calm. However, that does not necessarily happen in Santiago.

“Kast’s visions are very retrograde and they would make us go back years in the advances to respect the dignity of the people “, said Pablo Simonetti, who has just published his novel, The men that I was not. Its history unfolds from the moment when Chile left the dictatorship behind, in 1990. In this way, this fiction joins a heated debate in the middle of the electoral campaign. Many specialists wonder, in the face of the danger that looms on the horizon, if in Chile what Has crumbled is the neoliberal model from the unprecedented protests of two years ago or the collapse, strictly speaking, concerns the democratic transition that started 31 years ago. Those who favor the first scenario rely on an in principle irrefutable fact: at the same time as the elections, a constituent Assembly it removes the institutional matrix forged during the military regime. That certainty collides, however, with the possibility that a progressive Magna Carta will be drawn up, but that the next president will be at the opposite end of that fundamental text.

Moderation impossible

Facing the ballotage, Kast has begun to seek support from traditional conservative forces, National Renewal, to which Piñera belongs, and the Independent Democratic Union (UDI), a party that he left years ago for having moderated an initially radical discourse. Kast also traveled to the United States to meet with the toughest sectors of the Republican Party and businessmen with strong economic interests in Chile. In Santiago, Sebastian Sichel, the Piñera’s dolphin failedHe wants to charge him dearly for his support in the second round.

Has asked him to assume “nine commitments to strengthen Democracy”, including the maintenance of multilateralism, the “unrestricted respect for Human Rights& rdquor; and the rejection of emergency measures. Sichel also demanded that Kast defend ” minorities and diversities“and condemn the” hate speech spread by social networks of adherents and like-minded parliamentarians. “The Republican candidate’s environment considered these demands intolerable and demanded unconditional support. The same will be requested from Franco Parisi, who came in third place in the first round and campaigned from the United States and through social networks.For the moment, Parisi has called for silence and it is not ruled out that he leaves his voters free of action.

Boric’s plays

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For now, Boric has obtained the endorsement of the Christian Democracy. Faced with the historic crossroads, one of the pillars of the Democratic Coalition that ruled between 1990 and 2010, has opted for the lesser evil. His Social Democratic partners did the same. Boric also met with the patronal Chilean and called her to be “part of this transformation process.” His words did not arouse much enthusiasm. Will he catch up with those warm slides to the center to slow down Kast?

The shrewd analyst Marta Lagos recalled the result will depend on the degree of electoral participation, which in Chile is usually very low. In fact, less than 50% of the electoral roll voted in the first round. Lagos does not rule out that on December 19 fewer people will go to the polls, especially those who elected Parisi in the first round. At the same time he issued a warning: “if this country does not have great social transformations, what we are going to have a raised town, a street revolution that will not be dominated by any social leader “.

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