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Montevideo, January 23rd 2019 - 22:12 UTC

Piñera is Chile's next president: he beat the center left candidate by ten points

Monday, December 18th 2017 - 05:55 UTC
Full article 8 comments

Billionaire former President Sebastian Piñera easily won Chile's presidential runoff election on Sunday, moving the world's top-copper producing country back to the right. Piñera got 54.6% of the votes to 45.4% for center-left Senator Alejandro Guillier, with nearly all the ballots counted. Read full article


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  • The Voice

    Well, if he runs Chile like LAN, onward and upward.

    Dec 18th, 2017 - 09:54 am - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Chicureo

    This morning the president and president elect had a cordial breakfast at the Piñera home. Chile is fortunate to enjoy a stable progressive government with a very low level, if any, corruption. ¡VIVA CHILE!

    Dec 18th, 2017 - 12:50 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • British_Kirchnerist

    The big question now is whether he'll govern as a relatively moderate conservative like in his first term (where there was repression but of protesters pushing for new reforms he was resisting like free education) or whether emboldened by the right turn in the region he'll be more like Macri and try to throw everything backwards.

    In the longer view this is a symptom of Chile's continuing political stagnation under the dead weight of the Pinochet legacy. Bachelet's first arrival in office was a breath of fresh air as a representative of the left of the old, very broad Concertacion, but although her Presidency as a woman and leftist was highly symbolic, her personal style exemplary and her popularity stratospheric little was changed in the neoliberal model and the next Concertacion candidate was a tired former President from the 90s who lost to Pinera the candidate of the hard right (the right that had supported Pinochet in 1988 - the democratic centre right being part of the Concertacion). Then with the struggles that broke out in his first term and the realignment of the Nuevo Mayoria under Bachelet, expanding the Concertacion leftwards, she returned with a mandate for real radical change at last. Which then ran into the sand of the most restrictive system of constitutional supermajorities in the democratic world, at a time when the continent was going backwards.

    So we ended up with an NM candidate who wasn't as bad as he could have been (the original frontrunner was yet another pre-Bachelet relic) but who had to balance his own status as an outsider to politics with carrying the can for a disappointing government, and in the end couldn't enthuse voters of the left the way Pinera could on the right. The real surprise wasn't that Pinera won though but that he was forced into a second round, instead of winning with 40%+ in the first (no-one was expecting him to match Cristina's 54% in that!), and that the further-left Broad Front almost came second

    Dec 19th, 2017 - 10:50 am - Link - Report abuse -2
  • Chicureo

    The big question now is whether BK will understand that he'll govern again as a relatively moderate conservative like in his first term with no repression, and not agreeing to accede to unreasonable demands of free university education.

    BK, I assume English is your second language, but please try to compose more constructive and informative contributions in your posts. Thanks,

    Dec 19th, 2017 - 11:59 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • British_Kirchnerist

    We disagree about free education, that OK. But maybe we could agree that in a democracy you shouldn't need something 80% of the vote to push through a non-constitutional change like that? Btw I'm not blowing the trumpet for my own system, recently Britain has arguably gone too far in the opposite direction with referenda with no checks and balances at all (because Cameron in his arrogance never imagined he could lose), but surely you can agree that these Pinochet legacies are a drag on freedom of political choice and change?

    I can assure you English is my first language or I'd have been calling Cristina la potra long ago ;) My long sentences here are I think symptomatic of trying to fit in a lot of analysis on the hoof - but is there anything in my reading of the parties' showings I got wrong? Hope you're right of course that he'll remain a relatively moderate conservative - unlike Macri

    Dec 19th, 2017 - 02:10 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • Chicureo

    Sorry BK,
    I had the wrong impression you were Argentine.
    Sincere apology

    Dec 19th, 2017 - 04:55 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • British_Kirchnerist

    Apology accepted. What do you think of my analysis of the parties?

    It seems to me the obvious way forward for the opposition is for the almost evenly matched NM and FA to agree a common front and a common (hopefully inspiring) candidate next time. Is Camilla Vallejo old enough to run for President yet?

    Dec 19th, 2017 - 06:41 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Chicureo

    Despite what you read, Chile's is not suffering whatsoever under the “dead weight” of the “Pinochet legacy.” I do agree with Piñera that it's time to liberalize a few parts the constitution, but within reason because the radical ideas proposed to by the left will again slow the growth of our economy.

    Chile needs to focus on income equality by increasing business opportunities, improve basic public education, health care as well as other social services. This of course without overspending and without raising taxes. Otherwise, we'll experience economic decline. ...A difficult balance...

    Dec 19th, 2017 - 07:56 pm - Link - Report abuse +2

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