Reviews | Chilean President-elect Gabriel Boric faces constitutional challenge
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Any faux pas in the process could undermine the credibility of a new constitution – and provide bread and butter for supporters of the old order, including figures like Mr Kast, to rally to its rejection.
It’s do or die for Mr. Boric.
With history as a common thread, Mr. Boric starts off on the right foot to hope that Chilean society, at a pivotal moment for its democratic project, will make the right choice. Mr Boric was only 2 years old when the Chileans, in a historic plebiscite in 1988, rejected Mr Pinochet’s military rule, putting Chile on the path to democracy and self-determination. Next, nearly 56 percent of voters said no to the dictator’s brutal regime, ushering in a modern era of democracy and institutional growing pains.
Over 30 years later, by a similar margin, Mr. Boric’s message of hope and change prevailed over Mr. Kast’s terrible warnings that Chile was on the verge of abandoning this political model. and economic and to sink into communism. Fifty-six percent of the Chilean electorate rejected this message and voted for Mr. Boric, making him the youngest president to reach La Moneda, Chile’s presidential palace, and the candidate to receive the most votes. vote in a presidential election in the history of the country. . Participation also broke records. Mr. Boric’s mandate is clear.
Yet the president-elect, for all his youthful energy and commitment to the dignity, equality, and confinement of neoliberalism, is keenly aware that he will need more than rhetoric to govern and bring to fruition. the social promises that propelled him to power. In his same acceptance speech on Sunday, Mr Boric was blunt in his assessment that the future of his campaign promises – including access to quality health care for all and the overhaul of the privatized pension system of Chile – will require consensus, meeting others in the middle, and taking “short but steady steps” in the face of a tightly divided National Congress.
This is not the speech of a former student leader who cut his teeth organizing marches for better public education and in doing so found himself in the crosshairs of President Sebastián’s first administration. Piñera almost ten years ago. Mr Boric’s new pragmatism is a promising precursor to the constitutional process, as the approach is catching the attention of voters who are neither very progressive like him nor far-right sympathizers like Mr Kast. But as he juggles between forming a cabinet and running a government on the one hand, he will also have to combine intellectual rigor, communication skills and solemn urgency about future stages of the constitutional process on the other. Nothing can be left to chance – and every member of their team, whatever their role, must make the new Constitution their true north in everything they do.
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