Chileans elected Gabriel Boric as their next president on Sunday, entrusting the young socialist lawmaker with shaping the country’s future, which has been roiled by protests and is now crafting a new constitution.
Boric, who will be 35 years old when he takes office, will be the country’s youngest and most liberal leader since President Salvador Allende, who committed himself during the 1973 military coup that ushered in a horrific 17-year dictatorship.
He will take office at the end of a years-long process to design a new constitution, which is expected to result in significant legislative and political changes on subjects such as gender equality, Indigenous rights, and environmental protections.
Boric drew people by promising to lower inequality and boost taxes on the wealthy to support a large expansion of the social safety net, more generous pensions, and a greener economy, capitalizing on widespread dissatisfaction with the political factions that have traded power in recent decades.
Boric defeated José Antonio Kast, a far-right former congressman who attempted to paint Boric as a radical communist who would destroy one of the region’s most stable economies by wrecking it. The Communist Party is a member of Boric’s coalition.
Kast stated that he had called Boric to congratulate him on winning the race.
Kast stated on Twitter, “From now on, he is the President-elect of Chile and deserves all of our respect and constructive collaboration.”
Boric got almost 55 percent of the vote with over 98 percent of the ballots counted, while Kast had 44 percent. Recent surveys had predicted the race was tighter, thus the margin astonished political analysts.
“I will give everything I have to meet this enormous challenge,” Boric declared during a broadcast video call from outgoing President Sebastián Piera, which followed a long tradition in Chilean politics.
oric also stated that after a long and arduous campaign, he aimed to bring the country together. “I will be the President of the People of Chile.”
Piera expressed his delight that “democracy worked, and you were a part of it.”
The election was the most divisive and acrimonious in recent memory, with Chileans holding opposing viewpoints on issues like as the state’s role in the economy, the rights of historically marginalized groups, and public safety.