“Nobody gives up here!”, said one of the militants of the Apruebo Dignidad parties, while listening to their candidate Gabriel Boric raise the hope of winning the government of Chile in the second round of elections, which will take place on Sunday 19 December. “We go on!” was the closing word of his speech in which he called for unity among all the forces of progressivism and the left, in order to be able to defeat the most ultra-right wing that has come first at the polls today.
This is a Bolsonaro-style right wing, headed by José Antonio Kast, a 55-year-old lawyer, married and father of 9 children, Christian, candidate of the Social Christian Front and who shows sympathy with the de facto government of Augusto Pinochet. His proposals include ending the Women’s Ministry, preventing abortion, re-establishing the “order and progress” that Pinochet imposed, and granting a pardon to those convicted of crimes against humanity if they have served part of their sentence and are of advanced age.
Just over two percentage points behind, came the candidate representing the new generations, Gabriel Boric, with the proposal to establish the first ecologist and feminist government in Chile, aiming at pension reform, fair health care, free and quality education, protection of the Constituent Commission so that it can complete its work of drafting a new Constitution, incorporating practically all the demands of the social struggles.
The liberal Franco Parisi, a candidate who did not set foot in Chile during the entire campaign and only broadcast his messages via social networks, came third in the vote, obtaining just under 13%.
The percentages, with 94.84% of polling stations counted, show 27.97% for Kast and 25.70% for Boric.
With regard to turnout percentages, there is evidence of an increasing trend towards abstention at the national level. In fact, in the 1989 elections, 92.4% of the registered population voted, a percentage that in 2005 had dropped to 81.1% and that from election to election has been decreasing until today it stands at 37.4% of voters. In other words, of the 15 million registered voters, only 5.6 million people went to the polls.
This absenteeism is indicative of the enormous gap between the feelings of the people and the current political action, which disappoints, frustrates and angers, opening flanks for the development of this new right wing that is now bursting in with full force.