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Piñera blasted by his own party, but the outgoing president calls for a return in 2017

Thursday, March 6th 2014 - 05:22 UTC
Full article 21 comments
President elect Bachelet takes office next week and some of her future ministers have questioned Piñera's economic legacy President elect Bachelet takes office next week and some of her future ministers have questioned Piñera's economic legacy

The Chilean ruling coalition slammed outgoing President Sebastián Piñera and blamed him for recent electoral losses that have left the right in the lowest point in its history. The unusually harsh criticism came from members of Piñera’s own party, Renovación Nacional, a moderate conservative party that makes up the ruling Alianza.

 Members of RN lashed out at Piñera during a dinner to honor outgoing lawmakers, claiming that Piñera had failed to recognize his government’s mistakes and accusing him of having “little respect” for the parties that comprise Alianza: RN and the more conservative Unión Democrática Independiente (UDI).

RN leader Carlos Larraín was the first to voice his criticism. “We would like to say ‘we also contributed to this’, we would like to have some kind of recognition because we have worked like crazy”.

But Senator Manuel Ossandón was a lot harsher. “A mea culpa is missing. This is the first government in Chile’s history that lost three elections in a row — municipal, legislative and presidential — in a landslide. The country is doing better but the right is completely destroyed,” he said.

Ossandón went as far as to say that “politically, Piñera’s government has been one of the worst in Chile’s history” and that he opposes the idea of “honoring” the outgoing president.

As president-elect Michelle Bachelet prepares to take office next week, the future ruling-party — the Nueva Mayoría coalition — added to the criticism against Piñera and said that the outgoing government tweaked economic numbers to present “an improved picture.”

Rodrigo Peñailillo, designated to be Chile’s next Interior Ministry, noted that “citizens must be aware (...) that the economy is losing steam. It is part of a reality that we will have to handle as the future government.”

Senate President Jorge Pizarro, a Christian Democrat, underlined that “the economic numbers presented by the government are not real. During the last trimester, growth didn’t surpass 2.7%”.

Pizarro accused Piñera of carrying out a “propaganda campaign, pretending to say goodbye but actually trying to gain points and position himself” for 2017.

The legacy of the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship and its human rights record have been a conflictive issue for Piñera during the four years that he spent in office.

When the country commemorated the 40th anniversary of the coup against Allende last year, Piñera condemned the coup’s “passive accomplices.” He is one of the few within Chile’s right that voted “No” in an 1988 referendum to decide if Pinochet should continue ruling over Chile.

On Monday night, Piñera called on the Chilean right to reorganize and reclaim power in 2017, urging the rightist coalition “to build a real option” for the next presidential term

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

Top Comments

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  • Chicureo

    This is so typical of our right. During the elections, the situation was almost a comedy.. A bad one at that. The census scandal was the final nail in our president's coffin. He'll never be re- elected. Don't get me wrong, I belong to the RN...

    Mar 06th, 2014 - 05:35 am 0
  • The Chilean perspective

    The problem with Piñera is that he is not a political animal, he is a CEO instead. He disrespected the Alianza coalition by overlooking them for key positions in the government choosing technocrats instead. As a CEO he figured it's logical to place experts in key positions rather than political buddies looking for a juicy gig. The other mayor mistake was his government's inability to effectively self promote the many achievements, and to successfully contrast them against the declining performance of our leftist neighbors. Unlike Cristina Fernadez's and her skillful use of the “relato”, Piñera seems more like a dull bank manager, who suffers from foot in the mouth syndrome. Finally, Chile probably needs a correction right about now (a six month recession should do it) so the Socialists taking over might be a good thing.

    Mar 06th, 2014 - 08:19 am 0
  • DanyBerger

    The comunism is back in Chile...

    The “Zurdaje” is comming for all in Chiloteland?

    Mar 06th, 2014 - 08:30 am 0
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