Wednesday, January 19

Presidential elections in Chile: Kast (28%) and Boric (26%) decided by the abstainers and an unknown?

In #Chile, the candidates of the extreme right (Kast 28%) and the radical left (Boric 26%) will meet in the second round of the presidential elections on December 19. The winner of this first round is still abstention since only 7,115,590 voters, i.e. 47.34% of those registered expressed their opinion. This participation rate still satisfies the Chilean electoral service (Servel) which notes thatfor the first round of 2017, 6,700,748 voters took part in the vote “.

The poll was marked by the collapse of the right-wing coalition of the outgoing president Sébastian Piñera including the candidate Sebastian Sichel comes in fourth position … and also by the debacle of the Concertation (center right, Christian democracy and moderate left). These two camps had shared power since the return to democracy.

Franco Parisi, the third man!

Whoever elected who emerges from the polls in December, the very complicated electoral system resulting from the still valid constitution (negotiated with Pinochet at the time of the democratic transition) could block any implementation of reform. The voters who voted at the same time as this first round of the presidential elections for the renewal of part of the Senate and the National Assembly, made emerge in several regions a new “People’s Party” led by a stranger, Franco Parisi. Six members of this new party will therefore integrate the assembly anyway, regardless of the elected president. Franco Parisi is a mysterious entrepreneur who lives in Alabama in the United States and has not moved to campaign in Chile (where he is being sued for non-payment of child support). The national televisions which sought to interview him live, could not meet him physically and he would not have even participated in the ballot of the first round. He did not want to participate in the debates before the first round, even from a distance since he was declared positive for the coronavirus!

Franco Parisi therefore carried out an excellent campaign on social networks and was placed in third position with 13% on average at the national level and particularly important results in several regions of the north of the country where he held an anti-immigration discourse. With this national result and these six deputies of his “people party “ elected, it therefore reveals itself as a potential “kingmaker” !

The People’s Party announced on November 24 that it will organize

an online vote of its members to define the candidate

which he will support in the second round …

A polarized country

For the second round which will take place on December 19, closet and Boric, the two candidates installed at the two extremes of the political spectrum, aware of the fear that one and the other arouses in the opposite camp, hold speeches “reassuring”.

Kast Advantage … on paper

And Kast can count on the support of elected officials on the right many of whom have already rallied, Boric had won the primary elections against the candidate of the Communist Party, whose voters seemed to be a little reluctant to support him … So between the two rounds he had to convince not only those abstaining from the first round, to obtain the support of the Christian Democracy and the ex-parties of the Concertation, deeply divided and not to lose the communist voters on the way!

An exit from the top with the adoption of a new constitution?

If Kast were to pass, the work of the constituent assembly elected this year following the social revolts of 2019 – its mission to submit a new constitution to a referendum by 2022 – could obviously be called into question.

Boric would have no problem with this constituent assembly which carries a large number of its values ​​(on education, health, the distribution of wealth, the environment or human rights …) .

But regardless of the candidate elected in December, the new configuration of the two assemblies augurs well for an institutional blockage …

Gilles Roman

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