Dec 21, 2021
Only a decade ago, Gabriel Boric was a college student leading one of Chile’s biggest protest movements. Over the weekend, the 35-year-old Boric became the country’s youngest president ever. He won over 55% of the vote.
Boric formed his own political party in 2017. Its slogan is "decide to get involved." At the time, Boric was given little chance of gaining mainstream acceptance.
Boric stresses issues like the environment and human rights. And he has promised to create a strong social welfare system for citizens. To pay for it, he plans to increase taxes on the rich. But observers question if the country is stable enough to carry this out.
Politically active young Chileans appear to have been the key to Boric’s success. More than a million additional voters cast ballots than in a first round last month. That pushed turnout to the highest since voluntary voting started in 2012.
Boric’s victory against a conservative surprised experts. The result bucks a trend in South American elections. The continent had been moving toward more conservative leaders.
Photo from Reuters.
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