Chile’s right rejoices after pro-Pinochet candidate wins presidential election first round | Chili

Chile’s right wing has won a jubilant victory after José Antonio Kast, a former Congressman with An history of defending the Pinochet dictatorship, caused a surprise win in the first round of the country’s presidential elections.

closet, who campaigned on a platform of public order, migration controls and conservative social values, clouded expectations to take 28% of the vote and beat the progressive former student leader Gabriel Boric met two percent points.

The two will face off in An second-round resit on Dec 19

“I would like to thank God and my family, “Closet announced to an exuberant applause on Sunday night in a leafy square in one of The richest neighborhoods of Santiago. “Chile deserves peace and freedom – and we’re going to do it” give you.”

On the other side of town in a middle class barrio fringed with bars and restaurants, Boric expressed confidence that “hope will triumph” over fear”.

But the result is a reinforcement reality account for the Chilean left after two years in die the country a in broadly followed a progressive trajectory.

Massive protests against inequality have shocked the country since 2019, leading until the election of a largely left-wing assembly to vote on the Pinochet-era constitution in Chile to rewrite.

But die from sunday result suggested that the protest movement ability galvanize support worn thin.

closet survived a bruise final week of campaign in die are open support for The dictatorship of Genl Augusto Pinochet and his economic legacy were the subject of intensive control.

like him took to the brightly lit stage on Sunday evening he had recovered something of the calm die had left him for the . vote, presenting the second round as an existential fight against “the unyielding” left”.

“We are going to choose between freedom and communism – between democracy and communism,” he said.

Closet’s campaign spokesperson, Macarena Santelices – a great-niece of Gene Pinochet who briefly served outgoing President Sebastián Piñera as women’s minister – also popped up on phase.

Supporters – some wearing Make America Great Again caps, others with the Chilean flag draped around their shoulders – joined in chants greet “freedom” and mock the crowds who collected in 2019.

Later some stopped to cheer officers of the Carabineros national Police force, which was accused of torture, cover-ups and a litany of human rights violations during the protests.

By the campaign Closet managed to project are short, simple messages on TikTok to a younger generation of voters ver more efficient than his competitors.

And his vision for Chile has found a sturdy foil in Gabriel Boric, a former student protest leader who served two terms in congress since his elected in 2013.

Boric’s agenda is feminist, green and progressive, but its strong support between young, middle-class, university-educated Chileans in Santiago doesn’t seem in seep through to other demographics.

“It seems like some of the things that Boric stands for for don’t respond to people’s urgent needs,” says Valentina Rosas, a politician scientist at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. “They don’t affect it” on the price of bread of fuses people hack in you home.”

Abstinence is a persistent feature of Chilean elections – where rarely more then half of the electorate is turning out. Despite the apparently high stakes of yesterday’s election, participation hit just 47%.

An important factor in next the discharge of the month will be the . to be votes of die who supported the libertarian businessman Franco Parisi in the first round. not paris set foot in Chile during the campaigns because of a child support dispute with his ex-wife, but defied expectations to take 13% of the vote.

The destination of Parisis share of the vote, die largely consisted of young, lower middle class men by outside the capital according to one early study, probably will prove decisive in the second round.

The more moderate center and center right candidates Yasna Provoste and Sebastián Sichel took 12% of the vote a piece.

“My fear for the second round is this changing in an election based on fear. People can end up vote against certain policy, in instead of in favor of what they actually want” says rose.

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