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Elections in Chile: Official voting time is over but there are still long lines across the country

U.S.A.Elections in Chile: Official voting time is over but...

A woman casts her vote during the presidential and parliamentary elections in Santiago, Chile on November 21, 2021. (Reuters)

Chile voted this Sunday in the most uncertain presidential election in 31 years of democracy, On a particularly hot southern spring day – with more than 30 °C – long lines were seen at polling stations in Santiago and in cities in the north and south of Chile, where voting has been voluntary since 2012 and there is generally low electoral participation. , especially among the youth.

Representatives from the two most opposing political poles come in as favourites: Left Broad Front deputy Gabriel Borik, the youngest applicant in history with 35 years; and far-flung lawyers Jose Antonio Casto, 55 and from the Republican Party.

The first results answer the vote abroad. With a check of 0.31%, Gabriel Borik will receive 59.19% and Cast will receive 14.62%.

According to the polls, no candidate will reach 50% of the votes to ensure victory in the first round, so voting is anticipated on 19 December.

The two main favorites for the presidential election in Chile, Gabriel Boric and Jose Antonio Cast,
The two main favorites for the presidential election in Chile, Gabriel Boric and Jose Antonio Cast,

The elections have been marked by two years of tough social protests, with outgoing President Sebastian Pinera being the first public figure to vote at a school in Las Condes, an affluent neighborhood of Santiago. “Let’s give an example to the whole world of how democracy works in Chile,” Pinera asked during the vote.

Many analysts consulted by AFP believe that This Sunday’s election could close the country’s age-old political cycle, as the two favorites – and most candidates – are strangers to alliances with the traditional parties that have ruled in previous decades.

four main rivals, Left-wing deputy Gabriel Boric, far-right lawyer Jose Antonio Cast, Christian Democratic senator Yasna Provoste and right-wing lawyer Sebastian Sichel were cautious, and called on Chile to celebrate by voting in “this democratic party”. inform yourself” and “avoid extremism”.

The election will be open until 6 p.m. to vote for the president, with the entire Chamber of Deputies and half of the Senate as well as regional councilors being renewed.

Uncertain, voluntary votes and 50% of sanitation restrictions due to the pandemic configure the most precarious scenario since the return to democracy after the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973–1990).

Boric voted in the city where he was born, Punta Arenas, on the shores of the Strait of Magellan, more than 3,000 km south of Santiago; Candidate Provoste did so in his hometown of Valenar, 660 km north of the capital; and Cast in Pine, a rural area near Santiago.

faces of new parties

Alumni leader and defender of the ongoing constituent process, Boric is the youngest candidate for the presidency of Chile, But neither he, nor Kast, nor most of the seven rivals, are part of the political coalition that has come to power since the return to democracy in 1990.

Boric voted in Punta Arenas (Reuters)
Boric voted in Punta Arenas (Reuters)

“It can be argued that they are the last elections of the old cycle, because they may end up with a different result than[the politicians],” said Raul Algueta, a political scientist at the University of Santiago.

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Although the two favorites have ideologically opposite programs, no candidate can shirk his campaign’s promise to ensure well-being and social rights, as it has been the great transversal claim in Chile since the October 2019 uprising.

“We represent a process of change and transformation, (but) with certainty, with the gradualism that is necessary,” Boric said while voting in Punta Arenas, where he claimed a change in the country’s neoliberal development model.

Cast voted in Santiago (Reuters)
Cast voted in Santiago (Reuters)

For its part, Cast Pinochet tries to maintain the neoliberal model inherited from the dictatorship and promises to enforce “order, security and freedom” after two years of social turmoil. “The main thing (today is that) that many people can be present to vote and that everyone can speak freely” and “vote informed,” said Kast, who believes that Boric and the Communist Party His alliance with the U.S. would bring “anarchy” to Chile. ,

Provoste, Michel Bachelet’s former minister, is the only member of the Concertasien, a coalition of centre-left parties that ruled for 20 consecutive years following the end of the dictatorship. “It is necessary to restore governance and lost peace,” he said during the vote.

Chile's presidential candidates on television before the national election, 2021.  Reuters / File photo via Esteban Felix / Poole
Chile’s presidential candidates on television before the national election, 2021. Reuters / File photo via Esteban Felix / Poole

Sichel, without political affiliation but with a previous move by the Christian Democrats, is a representative of the Official Coalition, and pointed out after the vote that “President Caudillos who believes he will rule alone is not useful,” trusting that He will make a great election this Sunday.

Also competing are the far-right professor Eduardo Artes, progressive filmmaker and politician Marco Enriquez-Ominami and the so-called People’s Party economist, Franco Paris, who lives in the United States and has no foothold in the country. Expedition Chile due to problems with justice.

read on:

Elections in Chile: Long lines and long delays in main urban centers
Elections in Chile: Boric calls for “hope to defeat fear” and Cast calls for “voting freely”
Chile: 7 candidates seek La Moneda in election that ends 30-year hegemony of two coalitions
Jose Antonio Cast, the most conservative letter in the race for La Moneda
Gabriel Boric, Chile’s Millennium Candidate Quit

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