The charismatic leader of Chilean students’ massive protests for free and accessible education, Camila Vallejo launched this week her bid for Congress at the coming general elections next November with the Communist party.
Ms Vallejo, 25 and a Bachelor in Geography left the Federation of Chilean Students and started her campaign to Congress with a rally to the south of Santiago, Friday evening next to the chairman of the Communist party Guillermo Tellier and another former student leader Camilo Ballesteros, who was involved in the massive student protests that have debilitated the government of conservative president Sebastian Piñera.
“They like to say that this model was unbeatable, however the stubborn facts have shown the contrary”, said Vallejo on the inauguration of her campaign under the slogan: “together to Congress”.
The youth leader will be competing for a seat next to the centre left electoral pact New Majority which is headed by presidential candidate and former head of state Michelle Bachelet.
In the primary elections of last 30 June, Bachelet confirmed her leadership with over 70% of the ballot in her sector, which at the same time reinforced the electoral accord that for the first time included the Communist Party.
Bachelet has been quoted recently saying that Vallejo “will be good for Chile”, while the communist candidate stated that “the former head of the Women’s Office at the UN is the only person that can displace the right from power”.
At the Friday rally and following on her style, the former president of the students federation showed a picture in her twitter of her belly with the slogan “To end with abuse, Strike on 11/07” in support of the national stoppage that shook Chile on Friday.
“Inside me grows another powerful reason to keep fighting for a country without abuse, really fair and more joyful, which is where I want my child to grow”, underlined Camila Vallejo.
The Communist congress candidate jumped to the political stage in 2011 when as president of the Federation of Students from the University of Chile she was one of the main spoke-persons of the movement that took tens of thousands to the streets demanding for free, good quality education, an issue that together with tax reform has become central to the coming presidential election.
Ms Bachelet is running against the conservative Alliance for Chile candidate Juan Pablo Longueira an orthodox economist, former supporter of Pinochet who is contrary to free universal higher education but supports tax reform.
Public opinion polls clearly favour Ms Bachelet, who was the first woman president of Chile and left office with the highest support since the return of democracy in 1990.