In a battle between the Left and the Right. Chile seems to have taken the Left. Gabriel Boric, the president-elect of Chile and the driving force behind Chile’s Left, comes from a generation of student leaders determined to bury dictator Augusto Pinochet’s legacy.
Under Pinochet’s rule, Chile picked up an extreme economic model which Boric has taken upon himself to discard.
Born in Punta Arenas in 1986, Boric was a final year student of law when protests paralysed Chile a decade ago. He rose as a young student leader alongside several others who then became a part of his presidential campaign.
At 35, Boric will become Chile’s youngest ever president when he is sworn in on March 11.
Although Boric never completed his law degree, he won elections to Chile’s congress in 2013 and went on to serve two terms as deputy. He narrowly lost the first round of the presidential election to José Antonio Kast, a supporter of general Pinochet, following which he moderated his programme appealing to centrist voters. Earlier this month, it was revealed that Kast’s father was a member of the Nazi Party.
On 19 December 2021, Boric defeated José Antonio Kast in the second round of the presidential election, obtaining 55.9% of the votes. Boric became the president elected with the largest number of votes in Chilean history.
Boric has pledged to decentralise Chile and implement a welfare state by increasing public expenditure on women, non-binary Chileans and Indigenous people unlike ever before. Gabriel Boric is all set to be the youngest state leader in Chilean history and one of the youngest in the world.
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