In the News
Chile Sets Historical Precedent by Electing Youngest President in Its History
A former student leader has been elected president of Chile. At age 35, Gabriel Boric is going to be the youngest president in Chilean history. This alone signals that a wind of change is blowing. The Chilean people have been holding mass actions to demand a modern constitution which breaks free of the confines and arrangements adopted under the Pinochet dictatorship, which preserve the rule of a very wealthy neo-liberal ruling elite and the legacy of the dictatorship imposed through a U.S.-sponsored coup d’état in 1973.
Celebrations took place and continue in the streets of villages, towns and cities across Chile, with congratulations pouring in from around the world as soon as Boric’s decisive victory over his contender, an open admirer of Pinochet, was made known.
The participation rate in the election was 55.7 per cent of eligible voters, surpassing rates in all elections since voluntary voting was implemented in 2012. In addition, Boric is the president-elect with the highest number of votes in Chilean history (4,620,671). This is significant as Chile has recently had a high rate of voter abstention with the exception of the October 2020 plebiscite for a new constitution.
The high turnout confirms that when a people perceive that they can make a difference, they turn out.
The electoral victory will provide an impetus for the work of the Chilean people who are currently engaged in drafting a new constitution that serves their interests. Creating a new constitution is part of the work of the constituent assembly, a body for which the people fought hard and eventually won the right to elect on terms acceptable to themselves. The contribution of the Chilean youth in particular to that battle as well as to the outcome of the presidential election was significant and noteworthy. So is their determination to defend what they were able to achieve, so that the process continues in a way that favours the people, and is not impeded by an executive controlled by remnants of the dictatorship.
The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) congratulates the new president and the people of Chile for their historic achievement based on building a great unity in action to bring into being a system which affirms the rights of all.
(Photos: Prensa Latina, M. Biswas, E. Henriquez, R. Leyton)