Leftist Boric wins Chile presidential election.

Chilean leftist Gabriel Boric won the country’s presidential runoff election on Sunday, capping a major revival for the country’s progressive left that has been on the rise since widespread protests roiled the country two years ago.

In downtown Santiago, supporters cheered, embraced and waved flags with Boric’s image, as well as rainbow flags of LGBT groups that have backed his socially inclusive policies as well as plans to overhaul Chile’s market-orientated economic model.

With over 99% of ballots counted, Boric, 35, who leads a broad leftist coalition, had 55.86% of the vote, compared with 44.14% for far-right rival Jose Antonio Kast, who conceded defeat.

The protests in 2019 shone a spotlight on economic inequality and triggered an official redraft of the constitution. “I am going to be the president of all Chileans,” Boric said in a call with center-right President Sebastian Piñera, who will step down in March.

Boric supporters say he will overhaul the country’s economic model that dates back to Pinochet. It has been credited for driving economic growth but attacked for creating sharp divides between rich and poor.

Boric, who rose to prominence leading a student protest in 2011 to demand better and more affordable education, wrote in an open letter on Saturday that his government would make the changes Chileans had demanded in the 2019 social uprisings.

Those protests, which lasted months and at times turned violent, sparked a formal process to redraft Chile’s decades-old constitution, a text that will face a referendum next year.

 

The Yucatan Times
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