Leftist Gabriel Boric; Chile’s new President
Leftist Gabriel Boric, 35, wins Chile’s presidential runoff becoming the country’s youngest-ever President.
Chilean leftist Gabriel Boric, 35, member of the left-wing ‘I approve Dignity’ coalition, won the country's presidential runoff election on Sunday, becoming the country’s youngest-ever President.
With over 99% of ballots counted, Boric, who leads a broad leftist coalition, had 55.86% of the vote, compared with 44.14% for far-right rival Jose Antonio Kast, who conceded defeat.
In a televised call with center-right President Sebastian Pinera, who will step down in March, Boric said, “I am going to be the president of all Chileans.”
"I will not rule alone within four walls,” he stressed.
He said that stability today requires gradual and advancing one step after the other to avoid going astray, stressing that matters cannot continue in the same vein.
Chileans cast their votes
Chileans headed on Sunday to the ballots to cast their votes and choose between the far-right and leftist presidential candidates, in the second round of a very tight race.
The people of Chile have been voting centrist since the ousting of Augusto Pinochet 31 years ago, but this race pits them between two opposite ends of the spectrum.
The elections come following two years of protests, which were sometimes violent, to demand better living conditions.
Opinion polls prior to the elections indicated that the contenders were tied. The deputy who leads the left-wing coalition, Gabriel Boric, endorses a system aimed at redistributing wealth in one of the world's most unequal countries, whereas Jose Antonio Kast, a right-wing lawyer, advocates maintaining the free market with a hard-line conservative vision in social issues.
Meet Chile’s youngest-ever President
Gabriel Boric was born on February 11, 1986, in the southern city of Punta Arenas, in the Magallanes region in southern Chile.
As president of the University of Chile's student union, Boric led the large protests that rocked the country in 2011 in demand of free, unrestricted, and high-quality education.
During the demonstrations against the neoliberal model in 2019, Boric was part of the peace agreement that paved the way for the drafting of a new constitution to replace the one in force since 1980.
Boric’s government program includes installing "a welfare state so that everyone has the same rights no matter how much money they have in their wallet,” changing the current pension system, raising taxes on the rich, ensuring a comprehensive health system, providing job opportunities, especially for women and youth, canceling education debt, and supporting small and medium enterprises.