His opponent, the far-right lawyer José Antonio Kast, obtained 44% of the votes, one of the largest differences in a balloting.
By EFE / Confidencial
HAVANA TIMES – The young left-wing deputy Gabriel Boric, candidate of the Frente Amplio (Broad Front) coalition, won the Presidency of Chile this Sunday by obtaining 56% of the votes with 99% of the polls scrutinized.
“I will be the president of all Chileans, I will not govern only between four walls,” Boric said during a televised phone call with the outgoing president, the conservative Sebastián Piñera.
His opponent, far-right lawyer José Antonio Kast, obtained 44% of the votes, one of the largest differences in an election in Chile’s recent history.
Kast, who prevailed in the first round of November 21 with only 2 points of advantage, recognized with just over half of the polling stations reporting the victory of the former student leader, who will become the youngest Chilean president in March 2022.
“I just spoke with Gabriel Boric, and I have congratulated him on his great triumph. From today on he is the president-elect of Chile, and he deserves all our respect and constructive collaboration. Chile is always first,” Kast wrote on his Twitter account.
A 35-year-old MP and former student leader, Boric defines himself as an ecologist, feminist and regionalist and wants to expand the role of the state towards a welfare model like that of Europe.
He will be the most leftist president since the government of the overthrown Salvador Allende (1970-1973) and the first that is not part of the two great center-left and center-right blocs that shared power since the return to democracy in 1990.
Outside the hotel where the team of the virtual president-elect were meeting, university student Barbara Gomes told EFE: “I am happy because I have been in Plaza Dignidad (Dignity Square) since October 18 (the day the wave of protests broke out in 2019) and I was very afraid of the extreme right. I’m happy because democracy won.”
The same joy showed on the face of Ignacio Valdes, 34, who was headed for the celebration. “Chile has said no to fascism,” he assured EFE.
The deputy and former student leader Gabriel Boric said Sunday that he will be the president “of all Chileans,” during a televised phone call with the outgoing president, the conservative Sebastian Piñera.
“I will be the president of all Chileans, I will not govern only between four walls,” said Boric in a brief conversation.
During the call between the outgoing president and the man who will replace him, a tradition that is always carried out after the presidential elections, Piñera congratulated the candidate who will take office on March 11, 2022.
“You are going to be one of the youngest presidents in recent times and you must always know how to combine the strength and idealism of youth with experience,” he said.
“I will do my best to rise to this tremendous challenge,” said Boric, in favor of expanding the role of the State towards a welfare model with an ecologist, feminist and regionalist accent.
Despite continuous complaints on Sunday about the lack of public transport, which had raised questions about participation, more than 8 million people went to the polls, the highest number since voting was no longer mandatory in 2012, according to the last count.
Boric obtained broad support in the capital and in other urban centers such as Valparaíso, although he also managed to prevail in regions and rural areas such as Atacama, O’Higgins or Antofagasta, which he had lost in the first round.
The next president, who will take office for a period of four years, will have to heal the wounds left by the social crisis of 2019, a wave of massive protests for greater equality that left some thirty dead and put the current government and the security forces in check.
Piñera said this Sunday after Boric’s strong victory: “the main mission of a president is to contribute to uniting the country and sowing peace.”
“Gabriel Boric will be the president of all Chileans, of those who voted for him, of those who supported Jose Antonio Kast and also of those who did not vote on this day,” Piñera said in a public statement from La Moneda (government headquarters).