Comments, In Focus, Politics

Boric, an air of change for Chile

In Chile’s history, he is the youngest elected president and the one with the most votes. Hopes are pinned on him to move forward with the necessary transformations for the country, leaving no one behind. One of them is to promote the constituent process.

 

Gabriel Boric. Foto de Neuropata / Flickr. Creative Commons License.

Gabriel Boric, the standard-bearer of the left-wing coalition Apruebo Dignidad, won the South American country’s presidential elections in a resounding victory.

He did so with 55.87% of the vote, a lead of 11.74 points over his rival, the far-right Jose Antonio Kast of the Social Christian Front.

He won 4.6 million votes, more than the 4 million obtained in 1993 by Eduardo Frei.

Promoting the constituent process and responding to the demands expressed during the social outburst of 2019 are some of the challenges facing Gabriel Boric, who will assume power in March 2022.

Boric has acknowledged that the times ahead are not easy, as the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic must be dealt with, and the causes of the social outbreak are still being addressed.

On 18 October 2019, a student-led movement against the increase in metro fares began in the capital, which subsequently spread throughout the country and demonstrated the population’s discontent with social inequalities and the neoliberal model.

The protests were violently repressed by the Carabineros and military forces, resulting in around 30 deaths, thousands of injuries and 460 people with eye injuries from pellets or tear gas.

Gabriel Boric. Foto de Mediabanco Agencia / Flickr. Creative Commons License.

One of the main demands of the demonstrators was to change the current constitution, inherited from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990), and to strengthen the role of the state in the provision of basic services.

Installed on 4 July after the election by popular vote of its 155 members, including 17 from indigenous communities, the Constitutional Convention is currently drafting the new basic law, which should come into force next year after being submitted to a referendum.

Before a crowd gathered in the centre of Santiago, Boric promised to defend the constituent process, a source of pride, he said, because for the first time a Magna Carta is being written in a democratic and parity way, and with the participation of indigenous peoples.

The president-elect has repeatedly stated that his programme of government envisages moving forward responsibly with the necessary transformations for the country, leaving no one behind.

Other objectives of his administration will be to strengthen the role of the state, reform the current pension system, increase the minimum wage, reduce working hours, increase taxes on the richest and achieve a better redistribution of wealth.

Photo: Marcella Via

Questioned by the digital newspaper El Mostrador, Fernando Carmona, Boric’s economic advisor, said that the government’s programme will be the same as the one presented for the second round of elections.

Nor will the role of the Central Bank, and the important objective of keeping inflation low, be ignored.

The economic revival plan will influence both the public and private sectors and emphasises the improvement of small and medium-sized enterprises and the creation of jobs for women.

Progress in the transformations depends on reaching agreements with other sectors for the approval of laws in a Congress with a wide range of political forces. (PL)

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

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