sunny.png
Friday November 26th, 2021 5:56PM

Chileans vote in highly polarized presidential election

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chileans appeared to be voting in heavy numbers for a new president Sunday following a polarizing campaign in which the leading candidates vowed to chart starkly different paths for the region's most economically advanced country staggered by a recent wave of social unrest.

Pre-election polls point to a large number of undecided voters but consistently have favored two of the seven candidates running: former student protest leader Gabriel Boric and his ideological opposite, José Antonio Kast, who has a history of defending Chile's past military dictatorship.

But neither is expected to garner enough support to cross the 50% threshold required to avoid a runoff vote next month. Within striking distance of the two frontrunners are center-right candidate Sebastián Sichel and center-left former Education Minister Yasna Provoste. Also up for grabs is Chile's entire 155-seat lower house of Congress and about half the Senate.

Boric, 35, would become Chile's youngest modern president. He was among several student activists elected to Congress in 2014 after leading protests for higher quality education. Running as the head of a broad alliance that includes Chile's Communist Party, if elected he says he will raise taxes on the “super rich” to expand social services and boost protections of the environment.

He's also vowed to eliminate the country's private pension system — one of the hallmarks of the free market reforms imposed in the 1980s by Gen. Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship.

Kast, 55, from the newly formed Republican Party, until recently was seen as an outsider on the far-right fringe, having won less than 8% of the vote in 2017 as an independent. But he's been steadily rising in the polls this time with a divisive discourse emphasizing conservative family values as well as attacking migrants — many from Haiti and Venezuela — he blames for crime.

A fervent Roman Catholic and father of nine, Kast has also taken aim at the outgoing President Sebastian Pinera for allegedly betraying the economic legacy of Pinochet, which his brother helped implement as the dictator's central bank president.

Whoever wins will take over a country in the grips of major change but uncertain of its future course after decades of centrist reforms that largely left untouched Pinochet's economic model.

Turnout appeared to be heavy on Sunday.

“There are more people than other times because we're all tired of this,” said 55-year-old Marie Arias, who waited in a long line to vote.

Teresa Mardones, 60, said she usually has voted for the left, “but the uncertainty Chile is experiencing has forced me to vote for Kast.”

But Francisco Venegas, 50, said he had gone for Boric because “we have to change everything and take a risk.”

Pinera's decision to hike subway fares in 2019 sparked months of massive protests that quickly spiraled into a nationwide clamor for more accessible public services and exposed the crumbling foundations of Chile's “economic miracle.”

Gravely weakened by the unrest, Pinera begrudgingly agreed to a plebiscite on rewriting the Pinochet-era constitution. In May, the assembly charged with drafting the new magna carta was elected and is expected to conclude its work sometime next year.

Meanwhile, in a fresh sign of the tensions Pinera will leave behind, the billionaire president was impeached in the lower house before dodging removal by the Senate over an offshore business deal in which his family a decade ago sold its stake in a mining project while he was serving the first of two non-consecutive terms.

___

Goodman reported from Miami

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Elections, General Presidential Election News, AP World News, AP Business, AP Elections - Campaigns, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Missing Chinese tennis star reappears in public in Beijing
Missing tennis star Peng Shuai has reappeared in public at a youth tournament in Beijing, according to photos released by the organizer, as the ruling Communist Party tried to quell fears abroad while suppressing information in China about Peng after she accused a senior leader of sexual assault
12:29AM ( 19 minutes ago )
Capela leads Hawks past Hornets for fourth straight win
Clint Capela had 20 points and 15 rebounds, Trae Young scored 19 points and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Charlotte Hornets 115-105
12:01AM ( 48 minutes ago )
Chileans vote in highly polarized presidential election
Chileans head to the polls to elect the country’s next president following a polarizing campaign in which leading candidates vowed to chart a new direction in the region’s most economically advanced country
12:01AM ( 48 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Malaysian PM's party wins landslide victory in state polls
Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s Malay party has won a landslide victory in a state election, defeating its allies in the ruling coalition as well as the opposition ahead of national polls
11:20AM ( 13 hours ago )
Voters cast ballots in bellwether Malaysian state election
Voters wearing masks are casting their ballots in a Malaysian state election that pits Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s Malay party against its allies in the government for the first time amid a widening rift
10:14PM ( 1 day ago )
Jury finds Rittenhouse not guilty in Kenosha shootings
Kyle Rittenhouse has been acquitted of all charges after testifying he acted in self-defense in the deadly Kenosha, Wisconsin, shootings that became a flashpoint in the nation’s debate over guns, vigilantism and racial injustice
8:25PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections
How a right-wing provocateur is using race to reach Gen Z
Right-wing provocateur Charlie Kirk has built a well-funded and growing organization aimed at reaching the next generation of conservatives
5:11PM ( 3 days ago )
Jan. 6 rioter who carried spear, wore horns, draws 41 months
Jacob Chansley, the spear-carrying Jan. 6 rioter whose horned fur hat, bare chest and face paint made him one of the more recognizable figures in the assault on the Capitol, has been sentenced to 41 months in prison
2:37PM ( 3 days ago )
Jan. 6 rioter who carried spear and wore horns got 41 months
Jacob Chansley, the spear-carrying Jan. 6 rioter whose horned fur hat, bare chest and face paint made him one of the more recognizable figures in the assault on the Capitol, has been sentenced to 41 months in prison
1:07PM ( 3 days ago )
General Presidential Election News
Video of missing Chinese tennis star posted online
The editor of a Communist Party newspaper has posted a video online that he said shows missing tennis star Peng Shuai watching a match, as the ruling party tried to quell fears abroad while suppressing information in China about Peng after she accused a senior leader of sexual assault
10:38PM ( 2 hours ago )
Photos of missing Chinese tennis star posted online
An employee of Chinese state TV has posted photos of missing tennis star Peng Shuai online in a new effort to dispel concern about her disappearance after she accused a senior leader of sexual assault
8:06PM ( 4 hours ago )
Tennis players take on Communist Party: Where is Peng Shuai?
Some of the world’s most famous tennis players are distraught by the disappearance of colleague Peng Shuai and are challenging China’s Communist Party to get answers
7:55PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP World News
Atlanta airport checkpoint chaos: Man grabs gun, it goes off
Authorities say a passenger awaiting a bag search at the Atlanta airport’s main security checkpoint reached in the bag and grabbed a firearm, and it went off, causing chaos among travelers
12:13AM ( 38 minutes ago )
A year to go, Qatar World Cup still feels heat of scrutiny
The eight stadiums for the 2022 Qatar World Cup — all within a 30-mile radius of Doha — are now largely complete
11:09PM ( 1 hour ago )
Korda, Ko part of 4-way tie at LPGA with $1.5M at stake
The LPGA is poised for a blockbuster finish to the season
6:51PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Business
Florida GOP limits vaccine mandates, flouting White House
Florida Republicans have approved a sweeping bill to hobble coronavirus vaccine mandates in businesses
11:17PM ( 3 days ago )
Democrat Beto O'Rourke running for Texas governor in 2022
Democrat Beto O’Rourke is running for governor of Texas
5:20PM ( 5 days ago )
For Nebraska Rep. Fortenberry, a two-sided challenge in 2022
U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska will likely be facing two opponents in the 2022 election: a progressive Democrat with a lot of support in the state’s second-largest city, and a federal prosecutor in California who has accused him of lying to the FBI
12:49PM ( 5 days ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Stocks end mostly lower, but tech gains push Nasdaq higher
Stocks closed mostly lower on Wall Street Friday, though gains for several tech companies pushed the Nasdaq composite to another record high and its first close over 16,000 points
5:10PM ( 1 day ago )
House OKs $2T social, climate bill in Biden win; Senate next
The House has handed President Joe Biden a marquee victory
4:21PM ( 1 day ago )
Stocks wobble as Wall Street heads for a mixed weekly finish
Stocks wobbled in afternoon trading on Wall Street Friday and major indexes were on track for a mixed finish to a choppy week
3:44PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Economy
Missing Chinese tennis star reappears in public in Beijing
Missing tennis star Peng Shuai has reappeared in public at a youth tournament in Beijing, according to photos released by the organizer, as the ruling Communist Party tried to quell fears abroad while suppressing information in China about Peng after she accused a senior leader of sexual assault
12:29AM ( 22 minutes ago )
Atlanta airport checkpoint chaos: Man grabs gun, it goes off
Authorities say a passenger awaiting a bag search at the Atlanta airport’s main security checkpoint reached in the bag and grabbed a firearm, and it went off, causing chaos among travelers
12:13AM ( 38 minutes ago )
Capela leads Hawks past Hornets for fourth straight win
Clint Capela had 20 points and 15 rebounds, Trae Young scored 19 points and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Charlotte Hornets 115-105
12:01AM ( 50 minutes ago )
Georgia program offers jobs to homeless, keeps streets clean
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — On a brisk Friday morning, a small line has gathered outside the Sparrow’s Nest on Prince Avenue.Inside, people are already gearing up to clean the streets as part of a...
12:01AM ( 50 minutes ago )
No. 24 Utah routs No. 4 Oregon, ending Ducks' CFP hopes
Britain Covey returned a punt 78 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the first half, giving Utah 14 points in 27 seconds and a 28-0 lead, and the No. 24 Utes ended No. 4 Oregon’s College Football Playoff hopes with a 38-7 victory Saturday night
11:16PM ( 1 hour ago )