January 26, 2022

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The Left Wins the Presidential Election in Chile – NRK Urix – Foreign News & Documentaries

Preliminary figures show that left-wing candidate Gabriel Borich garnered 55.18 percent of the vote in today’s election.

Right-wing candidate Jose Antonio Caste got 44.82 percent after nearly 70 percent of the votes had been counted.

Very different candidates

Leftist candidate Gabriel Borek is 35 years old. He led the large student demonstrations in Chile a few years ago, and today is a member of the country’s National Assembly.

Conservative Jose Antonio Caste lost the presidential election in Chile.

Photo: Ivan Alvarado/Reuters

Borek supports social and economic policy, leads an electoral front in which, among others, the Chilean Communist Party participates.

The leftist candidate for abortion, with a majority among female voters.

Jose Antonio Caste is 55 years old, a lawyer and the father of five. He promised to “restore law and order” after the protests that have swept Chile over the past two years. He will defend “Catholic values” such as the nuclear family and the protection of life unborn.

Caste is an admirer of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, and he supports the neoliberal economic policies introduced under military rule.

poor and rich

The significant differences between the rich and the poor were a major issue in the election campaign. The left demands a more social Chile, in which the state has the responsibility to fight poverty and inequality.

– We are standing up to all forms of injustice, says campaign officer Rodrigo Vendáño, whom NRK meets at a market in the Chilean capital.

Rodrigo Vindanio - left-wing Chilean election official

Rodrigo Vindanio is a left-leaning electoral activist with a strong interest in social justice.

Photo: Arnt Stefansen/NRK

During and after the dictatorship, everything was privatized, and the values ​​​​that were created were distributed completely differently. This is what we want to end. That is why this election is so important to Chile, he said.

The most important promises of the Conservatives are “law and order” and a more stable Chile. It appeals to large groups of voters – among them the Nunes/Aguiles couple, whom NRK meets at their home in a middle-class neighborhood in Santiago.

Isabel Nunes says that what makes me first and foremost vote for Kast is that it is best suited to get the country’s economy back on track.

– I have confidence that he is able to pull the country out of today’s crisis, with social unrest, Corona and economic decline, she says

violent riots

Today’s presidential and parliamentary elections in Chile have a tragic background. A little more than two years ago, the country exploded in violent demonstrations. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in protest of growing poverty and social inequality, and billions of kroner were destroyed.

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Chile exploded in social riots two years ago. The presidential and parliamentary elections fall on Sunday.

Photo: Henry Romero/Reuters

The protests led to a referendum on the country’s constitution, which was introduced under dictator Augusto Pinochet in the 1980s. The vote took place last fall, giving a clear majority to reject Pinochet’s constitution.

In June of this year, Chileans elected members of the assembly that will draft the new constitution. The elections were a disaster for the major popular parties that have ruled Chile since the end of the dictatorship in 1990.

The country is now characterized by strong polarization. And There are far-right and far-left candidates vying for power during Sunday’s elections.

Fighting women in a macho country

Another consequence of the uprising here in Chile is that the struggle for equality has escalated dramatically. Chile is a traditional male society, with some of the strictest abortion laws in the world and strong prejudices against sexual minorities.

Lokalpolitiker Barbara Escobar i Santiago de Chile

Left-wing politician Barbara Escobar said that right-wing candidate Jose Antonio Caste represents a major threat to the status of women in Chile.

Photo: Arnt Stefansen/NRK

But during this election, gender equality was a more central issue than any previous election in the country. This week, different women’s groups organized a separate electoral meeting here in Santiago, where issues such as self-abortion and violence against women centered.

Last weekend, a new law allowing same-sex marriage was passed in Chile – an important victory, says local politician Barbara Escobar:

Love is love, and one must marry voluntarily. She says the new law is a big step forward.

– But if right-wing candidate Jose Antonio Cast becomes president, all progress on women’s rights will disappear, the local politician here in Santiago de Chile told NRK.

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