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Chile heads to the polls to choose a new president next Sunday;  Understand the scenario

Chile heads to the polls to choose a new president next Sunday; Understand the scenario

You are Chile Going to the polls Sunday (21) to determine who will occupy the presidential seat to succeed the troubled state Sebastian Pinera, which – which recently survived to try to isolate again.

The latest polls indicate the possibility of second round Between left-wing MP Gabriel Boric and far-right candidate Jose Antonio Caste. If necessary, a second vote will be held on December 19.

scan for Kadim Institute, which was released on the fifth, Kast indicated with 25% of voting intentions. Borek came in second with 19% of intentions. It was the first time the far-right candidate imposed himself on Borek in a possible second round, winning 44% to 40%, according to the institute.

Jose Antonio Caste, 55, has shown amazing growth in recent weeks. An openly supportive of Augusto Pinochet – claiming that the dictator who ran Chile between 1973 and 1990 would be his elector if he were alive – the lawyer and politician has criticized the traditional right and exploited the current president’s low popularity to spike in the polls.

Analysts heard CNN They claim that Kast was able to take advantage of the moment to question globalization and traditional institutions, and to defend the alleged struggle against communism, as happened in Brazil, the United States and other European countries.

Caste ended up beating MP Gabriel Borek, who had been leading the race until then. The youngest presidential candidate in Chilean history, at 35, the former student leader has been growing in politics since 2011, when he protested against private education in the country.

He came to prominence during the 2019 protests, and worked on the political negotiations that led to the referendum Chile’s new constitution. “If Chile is the cradle of neoliberalism, it will also be its mausoleum,” declared Borek, the left-wing candidate with more chances in this election, who won the primaries in July.

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Polarization in Chile

About the International Analyst for CNN L’Oréval SantanaThe most important aspect of this dispute in Chile is polarization. “Polarization is a recent thing in Chilean politics,” he says.

He recalls that incumbent President Sebastian Pinera, when elected to his first term in 2010, was the far-right president elected since the restoration of Chilean democracy.

“In his second term, Pinera was elected with a more centralized agenda, but polarization was brewing,” he says. “There have always been candidates and groups from the far left and the far right in Chile, but this is the first time they have had a real chance to come to power.”

Analyzer CNN He explains that two factors have led to the radicalization of Chilean politics: the lack of a public pension system in the country, “which has led to the impoverishment of the people.” And the fact that there is no free higher education in Chile, “because even in public universities students are charged an annual fee”.

“An educational credit system was set up that left many middle and lower class people in debt when they graduated from university, creating great anxiety among Chilean youth,” Santana says.

A survey conducted by the National Youth Institute (Injuv) indicated that the participation rate among Chilean youth should reach 77%. Among the main points to be considered in government programs for candidates are “Employment and Economics” and “Education”.

Left-wing candidate for Chile’s presidency Gabriel Boric/Reuters

Political Reflections on Brazil

Professor and Coordinator of the International Relations Course at the University of São Paulo (USP), Felipe Laureiro, says in an interview with CNN The Chilean elections are “very important” for Brazil. That’s because, according to him, the potential instability in our neighbors could be reflected in the country, especially with the victory of Borek.

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I think the scenario would be very similar to what is happening in Bolivia and Peru, where left-wing candidates won their elections. This leads to a weakening of the bilateral relations between Brazil and Bolsonaro and these countries. In the case of Chile, there is an aggravating factor, because Bolsonaro has become very close to Pinera, since 2019.”

Loreiro recalls Chile’s departure from the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), which was created in 2008 as a 12-nation progressive project, promoted by the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and with the support of other leaders on the continent at the time, such as former President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva. and Evo Morales (Bolivia), Rafael Correa (Ecuador) and the late Nestor Kirchner (Argentina).

“A parallel forum has been created, and South American Forum for Progress and Development (Prosol). Borek’s victory would weaken this apparatus, which is not that powerful, but a regional project from the right, center-right to far-right in Latin America, which has already been weakened, but will certainly end up losing relevance,” he says.

Chilean presidential candidate Jose Antonio Caste leads polls / Ivan Alvarado / Reuters

Regian Nich Bressan, professor of international relations at the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp) and coordinator of the regional observatory, is drawing attention to a potential “conservative shift” if Caste is to win.

The professor explains that Chile has been facing very big changes since the demonstrations at the end of 2019, when a part of the population took to the streets to demand changes regarding the Chilean constitution. In July of this year, a commission was set up to re-edit the Magna Carta in Chile.

“It was interesting how they reserved seats for indigenous people and social leaders. This in fact enshrines the possibility of a constitution that could include the broader interest of the population. The elections now will really give the country another perspective.”

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The symbolic effect and the relationship with the pocket

Associate Professor of International Politics at Rio de Janeiro State University, Paulo Velasco, believes that President Jair Bolsonaro (has no party) “hopes for a victory” for far-right candidate Jose Antonio Caste, which he called “Chilean Bolsonaro.”

Velasco estimates there will be no deepening of relations between Brazil and Chile in Gabriel Boric’s eventual victory in December. However, he points to an uncertain future in Brazil, which could generate friction in the future depending on which candidate wins the 2022 election, especially if Bolsonaro does not win the election.

“In the future, there may be friction depending on the political scenario in Brazil, but since these relationships are not linked to a political party, I can’t imagine much harm,” he wonders.

Carlos Gustavo Poggio, PhD in international relations from Georgetown University, says that in Chile today there is a “clear trend of force” in the political category he’s categorized as “right-wing populism, from the Bolsonaro line.” “Obviously we got that in the character Cast.”

And a victory for the right would be “a signal that Latin American society continues to buy right-wing populist rhetoric,” warns Alvares Penteado, professor of international relations at the Armando Foundation (FAAP).

“The electoral strength that Kast has shown thus far is already pointing in this direction. This is in the context of the revision of the Chilean constitution. If there is any hope for progressive sectors in Brazil, the election of the populist right would negate any kind of hope for a transformation or transformation. More to the left of Chile. I think it has a psychological and symbolic effect that is worth pursuing,” he says.