The Chilean people are returning to the polls this Sunday (19) to cast their ballots in the second round of the presidential election, this time reaching a highly polarized and rigorous final stage.
Gabriel Borick from the left, and Jose Antonio Cast from the far right, represent the opposite sides of the political spectrum and compete for every vote of the electorate. According to a survey by Atlas Intel Consultancy, Reuters gained access to this Thursday, with Cast, who won a slight majority in the first round on November 21, averaging 48.5% of the vote, with 48.4%. If invalid votes are removed from the account, each candidate will receive 50%. I.e. there is a tie.
Voting begins at 8 a.m. (Brasilia time) and ends at 6 p.m. The expectation is that the winner will be revealed in a few more hours.
The new president will govern a country with a new constitution, now drafted and marked by rising inflation over the past two years. This is the first presidential election since 2019, when the country was rocked by widespread protests against inequality that led to several months of rallies and violent episodes.
“It’s the most uncertain election in a very unusual year, two very unusual years from social unrest, nothing can be guessed,” says Kenneth Bunker, director of the consulting firm Tresquintos.
None of the candidates Received more than 28% of the vote in the first round, I.e. competitors depend on moderate voters to win.
Since the popular elections of 1989 and the re-democratization process that began at the end of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship, the candidate who has always won the presidential election in the first round will be integrated as the winner in the second round. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
Gabriel Boric (Convergence Social) and Jose Antonio Cast (Bardito Republican) 2nd round favorites in Chile – Photo: Martin Bernetti and Javier Torres / AFP Photo
This controversy divides the Chileans between the revived progressive left A lot has grown since the 2019 protests, It’s a An extreme right-wing anti-government movement recognizing the harsh message of “law and order.” Ministry.
More than 15 million Chileans can vote to elect the successor to conservative Sebastian Pinera. However, in the first round, 47% of the vote was cast.
Borick, 35, is a law student at the university Chile, Comes from the far south of the country, from the Punta arena. He is agnostic, single and childless. Cast, 55, is a lawyer, but studied at a Catholic university. He has been married to Maria Pia Atriasola since 1991, has nine children and is a member of the Catholic movement Shawnstadt.
With a minimum age to run as a candidate, Borik represents the Apro Dignity Coalition, which is the broadest front – part of the candidate – and unites the Communist Party.
The cast of the radical Conservative Republican Party he founded won the first round on November 21 and lined up all the right-wing parties in Chile around his name.
Candidates Gabriel Borick (left) and Jose Antonio Cast (right) before the election debate – Photo: Reuters / Elvis Gonzalez
Both Borick and Cast have been implementing changes in their regimes since entering the second round. Cast, a Republican lawyer and former lawmaker, maintains his idea of building a ditch on the northern border. Chile. According to him, como reports RFI, It would be a great solution against the entry of illegal immigrants from the borders of Peru and Bolivia.
The Republican nominee removed two points from his government program that were widely criticized by the public: Construction of new thermoelectric plants and removal of the Ministry of Women and Gender Equality. In addition, he added some points like the right-wing environmental theme, which has been vaguely mentioned before, but with little detail.
Borik’s plan focuses on three reforms: pensions, health and education. Most proposals have three more themes: feminism, climate crisis and decent work. The Left added moderate elements such as tax reform to its plan, which would enable the government to collect the equivalent of 6% of GDP in four years and reach the target of 8% in eight years.
The winner of the second round will face a difficult economic situation: after the sharp recovery of 2021, growth will slow and Chile’s public debt is expected to rise next year.
Cost and Boric refer to hostile schemes in the economy.
At the same time the young left defends itself from being liberal on sub-social issues European style “welfare state” in economics, His opponent, a 55-year-old lawyer, supports the neoliberal economic model and has a radically conservative view of social issues. Expressed its opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage..
Cost proposes to reduce taxes on large corporations and keep the pension system private. Borik plans a tax reform that would include levying higher taxes on the super-rich and higher-income levying an additional 5% of GDP, aimed at expanding the state’s contribution to the provision of social security.
The left-wing candidate is backing the new pension system inherited from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990), the central theme of Chilean society, which has been one of the main demands of social protests in recent years. Will be provided by a very low pension.
“Castin’s model market is very friendly,” says Francisco Castaneda, an economist at the university’s School of Business.
In the final part of the second round, both candidates tried to attract voters from the center by integrating new advisers into their groups, especially in the economic field.
In fact, in the aftermath of the dictatorship, eminent economists who followed the years of federal-left coalition governments marked by great prosperity declared their support for war in the second round, among them Ricardo French-Davis.
Initially, Borick proposed a tax reform that would raise GDP by 8% and now to 5%, while Cost gradually introduced its relief to large corporations from 27% to 17%.
After recording a 5.8% decline in 2020 as a result of health restrictions caused by the epidemic, Chile 2021 will end with a GDP expansion of about 11.5%.
Chile has elected a new president this Sunday
Much of this recovery was approved by Congress due to strong popular pressure, following an early withdrawal from the state bonus and private pension fund (up to 10% each time) due to the increase in private consumption.
Moreover, since the middle of the year, economic activity has largely resumed after a successful anti-Govt vaccination campaign promoted by the government of Sebastian Pinera, which was able to reach more than 90% of the target population.
As the world’s leading copper producer, The Chile It also benefited from the international rise of metal driven by Chinese demand.
Pension fund withdrawals alone represented $ 50 billion in injection, while the government set aside $ 3 billion a month to pay emergency family income (IFE) bonuses until December.
By 2022, the central bank is expected to raise interest rates again to control inflation, which will double to its target of 6% by the end of the year. Also, the distribution of IFEs will be suspended.
“Whatever the candidate for the presidency next year, he must be responsible for a complex macroeconomic situation in which he must measure the withdrawal of financial incentives,” Artis said.
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