Comments, In Focus, Latin America

Elections in Chile: from right to left?

The electoral environment in this Latin American country gains momentum ahead of the November presidential elections, while the right wing seems to have lost its strength.

 

Rafael Calcines Armas

 

The path begins to clear after the second round of elections for governors in 13 of the country’s 16 regions, held in the last few days, and which, as analysts predicted, resulted in a new defeat for the right-wing parties.

This election had a special significance because, for the first time, the popular vote decided this post that was part of the measures to decentralise power in Chile, as well as offering a perspective on what might happen in the presidential elections.

The polls gave a blow to the governing coalition Chile Vamos, as 15 out of the 16 regions in the country were won by the opposition, including the Santiago Metropolitan Region, the most important of all and a historic outpost of the right.

Now starts the electoral campaign for presidential primaries, predicted for 18 July.

Therefore, the candidates from the Communist Party and the Broad Front, and two right-wing, were deployed to different regions in the country.

The representative of the Communist Party, Danile Jadue, was the first to present his government agenda with a series of objectives that include many of the claims of millions of Chileans throughout the popular revolt that started in October 2019.

Meanwhile, Gabriel Boric from the Broad Front presented his agenda the night before which, with different nuances, includes quite a few topics that match Jadue’s proposal. On the other side, the candidate from the right-wing Independent Democratic Union party, Joaquín Lavín, launched on Thursday a “preview” of his programme, which, as one might expect, contains a reformist approach to the current model of the country, but far from the proposal from the left.

But on the long road towards the presidency, definitions are lacking in the Socialist, Party for Democracy and Christian Democratic parties, that don’t agree yet on a primary in this sector.

There may even be surprises as the List of the People, made up of independent candidates, announced on Tuesday that they will bring their own candidates for the parliamentary elections, and quite possibly for the presidential ones too.

All this with the spectre of abstentionism hovering, as only 19.6% of the electorate turned out to vote in the gubernatorial elections, a record of non-attendance.

Against this background, the Chamber of Deputies overwhelmingly approved a constitutional reform bill to reinstate the mandatory voting in popular elections, which will be heard in the Senate in the coming days with a good chance of becoming law. (PL)

(Translated by Cristina Popa – Email: gcpopa83@gmail.com) – Photos: Pixabay

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