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Chile: clear victory for the candidate of the popular movement

N° 20 janvier 2022 The second round of the presidential election in Chile has seen the clear victory of Gabriel Boric supported by a popular coalition in which the Communist Party plays an important role.

In the first round, José Antonio Kast, a candidate openly Pinochist and pro-American (1), received the most votes. Turnout for the second round rose from 47% in the first round to 55% due to a greater participation of young people and the popular and middle classes. It clearly designated the candidate of the popular movement which has been shaking Chile for months at the head of state with 56% of the votes cast and more than a million votes in advance. This result confirms the irruption on the social and political scene of a profound movement; a struggle which led to the rejection of the anti-social and pro-American policies that prolonged the dictatorship of Pinochet, – policies carried out alternately by the right-wing parties and social democracy. Indeed it is significant that none of these parties succeeded in influencing the first round of the presidential election. While José Antonio Kast campaigned on the themes of order, justice and security, for his part Gabriel Boric developed the idea that the State must intervene more strongly in the social order by supporting the populations in terms of health and social protection. These themes resonate strongly in popular circles in Chile. The Pinochet regime which was the result, let us recall, of a military coup supported and fomented by the CIA against the President-elect of the time Salvador Allende, following the recommendations of American economists from the Chicago school destroyed public services and privatized the Chilean economy to the detriment of the popular classes. If hundreds of thousands of Chileans expressed their joy at the announcement of the results, it was because they felt that the Pinochist grip was finally over. The Latin American press from Cuba’s Granma to Clarin in Argentina and of course El Siglo, the newspaper of the Communist Party of Chile, greeted the event forcefully. All these newspapers stress that the fundamental movements that are crossing Chilean society for more democracy and social justice are confirmed.
It is significant that the heads of state of Argentina, Cuba, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, Nicaragua and Uruguay warmly congratulated the new Chilean president. The election of Gabriel Boric strengthens the process of drafting a new constitution free from the rags of the Pinochet dictatorship and should give new impetus to the popular movement. However, the political fragmentation of parliament, which does not fully give free rein to reform, can act as an obstacle in the absence of a balance of power in favor of change. Political and social struggles will be an indicator of the possibilities opened up by this election. We will follow them closely. In the meantime, we want to show our solidarity with the Chilean people in their struggle for social progress and democracy.

(1)https://www.sitecommunistes.org/index.php/monde/amerique-du-sud/1669-chili-une-election-presidentielle