fog.png
Sunday December 5th, 2021 5:54PM

Ex-protester, far-right lawmaker to meet in Chilean runoff

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — A conservative lawmaker with a history of defending Chile’s military dictatorship and a former student protest leader were headed to a polarizing presidential runoff after both failed to garner enough votes to win the South American country’s election outright.

José Antonio Kast finished Sunday’s presidential election first with 28% of the vote compared to 26% for Gabriel Boric following a bruising campaign that laid bare deep social tensions in the region’s most economically advanced country.

In a speech to supporters late Sunday, Kast doubled down on his far right rhetoric, framing the Dec. 19 runoff as a choice between “communism and liberty.” He blasted Boric as a puppet of Chile’s Communist Party — a member of the broad coalition supporting his candidacy — who would pardon “terrorists,” be soft on crime and promote instability in a country that has recently been wracked by protests laying bare deep social divisions.

“We don’t want to go down the path of Venezuela and Cuba,” Kast, speaking from a lectern draped with a Chilean flag, told supporters in the capital. “We want a developed country, which is what we were aiming to become until we were stopped brutally by violence and the pandemic.”

In sharp contrast, Boric refrained from attacking Kast by name, accepting the results with humility and urging his supporters to listen to and convince doubters who voted for other candidates.

“Our crusade is for hope to defeat fear,” said Boric, speaking through a mask to supporters in his home town at the southern tip of the vast Patagonia region. “Our duty today is to convince others that we offer the best path to a more fair country.”

A candidate who ran virtually from the U.S. without stepping foot in Chile led the pack of five other candidates trailing far behind. In Chile’s electoral system, if no candidate secures a 50% majority, the two top finishers compete in a runoff.

The vote followed a bruising campaign that laid bare deep social tensions in the country. 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. 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, emerged from the far right fringe after 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.

Sebastian Sichel, a center right candidate who took around 12% of the vote, was the first among the losing candidates to position themselves in what’s likely to be a heated runoff, telling supporters that under no circumstances would he vote for “the candidate from the left,” a reference to Boric.

Meanwhile, Yasna Provoste, who finished with a similar amount, told her supporters on the center left that she could never be neutral in the face of a “fascist spirit that Kast represents.”

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.

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.

___

Goodman reported from Miami

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Presidential Election News, AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Police: 'Some' killed when SUV hits Christmas parade
Police say a person is in custody after an SUV sped through barricades and into a parade of Christmas marchers in suburban Milwaukee on Sunday, killing multiple people
12:30AM ( 7 minutes ago )
In Africa, Blinken sees limits of US influence abroad
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken saw first-hand the limits of America’s influence abroad as he traveled across Africa
12:12AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Dems confident on methane fee as budget bill moves to Senate
A huge social and environmental policy bill passed by House Democrats includes a plan to impose a fee on emissions of methane
12:10AM ( 26 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Hitmakers BTS stamp their authority on American Music Awards
South Korean superstars BTS were crowned artist of the year at the American Music Awards on Sunday, brushing aside challenges from Taylor Swift, Drake and The Weeknd as they took home a total of three awards
11:41PM ( 57 minutes ago )
Tens of thousands protest Belgium's tighter COVID-19 rules
Tens of thousands of people have marched through Brussels to protest reinforced COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the Belgian government to counter the latest spike in coronavirus cases
10:42PM ( 1 hour ago )
Protesters trace route Rittenhouse took in Kenosha
Several dozen people gathered below the wind-whipped Wisconsin flag at Kenosha’s Civic Center Park and warmed up with chants for justice before taking to the streets in protest of the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse
10:42PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
More than 20 injured when SUV plows into Christmas parade
More than 20 people were injured when an SUV plowed into a Christmas parade in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha on Sunday, the city’s police chief says
8:46PM ( 3 hours ago )
Silk Sonic kicks off American Music Awards on a funky note
Silk Sonic’s Bruno Mars and Anderson
8:18PM ( 4 hours ago )
US missionaries say 2 of 17 abductees freed in Haiti
An Ohio-based church organization says two of 17 members of a missionary group have been freed in Haiti more than a month after being kidnapped
7:28PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online National News
'Tiger King' Joe Exotic moved to North Carolina facility
A defense attorney says the former Oklahoma zookeeper known as “Tiger King” Joe Exotic has been transferred to a medical facility in North Carolina for federal inmates after a cancer diagnosis
3:27PM ( 9 hours ago )
Chileans vote in highly polarized presidential election
Chileans appear to be voting in heavy numbers on 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
3:17PM ( 9 hours ago )
Libyan interim PM aims for presidency, despite rules
Libya’s interim prime minister has filed a request to run for president despite being technically barred from next month's elections
2:20PM ( 10 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Outsiders take early lead in Chilean presidential election
Two outsider candidates hailing from opposite extremes of the political spectrum look headed to a runoff in Chile’s presidential election following a bruising campaign that laid bare deep social tensions in the region’s most economically advanced country
7:44PM ( 4 hours ago )
2 outsider candidates take early lead in Chilean election
Two outsider candidates hailing from opposite extremes of the political spectrum have taken an early lead in Chile’s presidential election following a bruising campaign that laid bare deep social tensions in the region’s most economically advanced country
5:11PM ( 7 hours ago )
Tunisian trial shines light on use of military courts
A 40-year-old Tunisian computer engineer turned corruption fighter will stand trial again in a military court Monday
11:05AM ( 13 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
US climate pledge faces test in Senate with global impact
The Biden administration and Democrats talked the climate talk at U.N. negotiations in Scotland
10:48AM ( 1 day ago )
As Biden's big bill advances, so does Pelosi's big legacy
The grind of legislating is treacherous for some, a sport for others, and rarely successful in the slow-moving Congress
12:18AM ( 2 days ago )
Tennessee governor's aide warned new COVID law was illegal
Emails obtained by The Associated Press show that Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s office warned top legislative staffers that a bill limiting public health measures during the COVID pandemic would violate federal law
7:57PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Online Congress News
Exit polls: Bulgarian president wins apparent reelection
Exit polls in Bulgaria suggest that incumbent Rumen Radev is the apparent winner in the country’s presidential runoff
1:42PM ( 10 hours ago )
Bulgarians vote for president in runoff election
Bulgarians are at the polls to choose a new president in a hotly contested runoff amid a COVID-19 surge and a political crisis that has gripped the European Union’s poorest country
3:36AM ( 21 hours ago )
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 ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections
2 Iranians charged with threatening US voters in 2020
Two suspected Iranian computer hackers have been charged in a broad campaign of election interference aimed at intimidating American voters during last year’s presidential race and undermining confidence that the results of the contest could be trusted
5:21PM ( 3 days ago )
Charlie Kirk exploits racial divide 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
11:57AM ( 3 days ago )
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 ( 4 days ago )
General Presidential Election News
Hamas gunman kills 1 before Israeli police shoot him dead
A Hamas militant has opened fire in Jerusalem’s Old City, killing one Israeli and wounding four others before he was fatally shot by Israeli police
2:34PM ( 10 hours ago )
Queen Elizabeth II attends christening of 2 great-grandsons
Queen Elizabeth II has attended a double christening for two of her great-grandchildren
1:49PM ( 10 hours ago )
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 about her while suppressing information after she accused a senior leader of sexual assault
10:39AM ( 14 hours ago )
AP World News
Asian shares mixed after China warning on risks, stagflation
Stocks are mixed in Asia after closing mostly lower on Wall Street Friday, despite the Nasdaq’s first close above 16,000
11:46PM ( 59 minutes ago )
Australia to welcome vaccinated foreign students, workers
The Australian government expects 200,000 vaccinated foreign students and skilled workers will soon return without quarantining when the country further relaxes pandemic restrictions next week
10:29PM ( 2 hours ago )
Austria begins national lockdown to fight surging infections
Austria has gone into a nationwide lockdown to combat skyrocketing coronavirus infections
7:24PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Business
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 ( 2 days 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 ( 2 days ago )
Dems' sweeping social, climate bill passes divided House
A sharply divided House has approved the Democrats’ sweeping social and environment bill, a big victory for President Joe Biden
2:18PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Business - Economy
Police: 'Some' killed when SUV hits Christmas parade
Police say a person is in custody after an SUV sped through barricades and into a parade of Christmas marchers in suburban Milwaukee on Sunday, killing multiple people
12:30AM ( 15 minutes ago )
In Africa, Blinken sees limits of US influence abroad
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken saw first-hand the limits of America’s influence abroad as he traveled across Africa
12:12AM ( 33 minutes ago )
Dems confident on methane fee as budget bill moves to Senate
A huge social and environmental policy bill passed by House Democrats includes a plan to impose a fee on emissions of methane
12:10AM ( 35 minutes ago )
Austria enters nationwide lockdown to fight soaring cases
Austria has gone into a nationwide lockdown in a desperate effort to contain skyrocketing coronavirus infections
12:09AM ( 36 minutes ago )
Jury in Ahmaud Arbery death trial to hear closing arguments
Attorneys in the murder trial over Ahmaud Arbery's death are scheduled to deliver closing arguments
12:01AM ( 44 minutes ago )