December 8, 2021

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Right-wing populist front after Chile election – NRK Urix – Foreign News & Documentaries

Preliminary figures show that Jose Antonio Cost received 28.9 percent of the vote, while left-wing candidate Gabriel Borick received 24.1 percent.

Chile now has 40 percent of the vote after Sunday’s presidential election.

None of the other five presidential candidates received more than 15 percent of the vote.

This election has been considered one of the most important since the overthrow of the dictatorship in 1990.

The Left Party is second in the list of candidates after today’s election, but he could go on to the decisive election round.

Photo: STRINGER / Reuters

Very different candidates

Jose Antonio Cost, 55, is a lawyer and father of five. He has long been one of the bodyguards of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. He still supports neoliberal economic policies introduced under military rule.

But recently, the cast has emerged with a very moderate profile. This has led to a sharp rise in pre-election polls.

Jose Antonio Cast says he wants to “restore law and order” after widespread protests in Chile over the past two years. He has huge and growing support from the moderate right.

Left-wing candidate Gabriel Borick, 35, was one of the leaders in the protests in Chile two years ago. His policies are often a reflection of the demands of the opposition: the more social Chile, where the government assumes greater responsibility to combat poverty and inequality.

Borick believes that neo-liberalism and comprehensive privatization are the main causes of the country’s major social problems.

He is also concerned about the plight of the Chilean indigenous people who have recently resorted to militant activities in their key areas in the south of the country.

Political earthquake

In October 2019, Chile erupted into violent riots. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets against the rising poverty and social inequality, and great destruction was done.

The protests lasted for several weeks and led to the authorities offering huge concessions. One was to hold a referendum on the country’s constitution, which was introduced in the 1980s under dictator Augusto Pinochet.

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The riots in Chile in October 2019 attracted world attention.

Photo: Henry Romero / Reuters

The referendum was held last autumn and Pinochet got a clear majority to reject the constitution. In June this year, the Chileans went to the polls again. This time the council must elect members to draft a new constitution.

The election for the Constituent Assembly was a disaster for the established parties in Chile. First and foremost to the Conservatives and their leader, President Sebastian Pinara.

But also to the moderate left, which has ruled the country for a long time since the fall of the dictatorial regime in 1990.

Now what – Chile?

None of the candidates in Sunday’s election received enough votes to become the country’s new president.

So on December 19 there will be a new confrontation between the right-wing populist Jose Antonio Cast and the left-wing extremist Gabriel Bori.

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Today’s elections in Chile are considered very important for the further development of the country.

Photo: RODRIGO GARRIDO / Reuters

What we have seen in this round of elections is that the party landscape in Chile has changed drastically. And the big question is who the losers in the election will support in the next round.

Many commentators recall what happened in Brazil three years ago, when the majority chose the right-wing populist Jair Bolsanaro over the Labor candidate.

If something like that happened in Chile, it would be a huge contradiction for many. No one expected the social upheaval and the Pinochet Constitution to finally bring a right-wing populist regime to power.

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