Article

November 30, 2021

The 2021 Chilean presidential election takes place on November 21 and December 19, 2021 to elect the President of the Republic of Chile for four years. Parliamentary and regional elections are held simultaneously. The outgoing president, Sebastián Piñera, cannot be a candidate for his re-election, the Chilean Constitution prohibiting the successive mandates. The ballot sees far-right candidates José Antonio Kast and radical left-wing Gabriel Boric qualify for the second round. For the first time since the return to democracy in 1989, the second round does not oppose candidates from the traditional center-right and center-left parties.

Context

The November 2017 presidential election sees the victory of conservative Sebastián Piñera, the predecessor of outgoing President Michelle Bachelet. Piñera won in the second round against Alejandro Guillier, supported by the latter. The country is experiencing massive protests in 2019 and 2020 to challenge an economic system deemed very unequal. Thirty demonstrators are killed and thousands injured or arrested. The Constitution then in force quickly concentrated criticism because of its strongly unequal neoliberal content as well as its origins, this one having been drafted in 1980 under the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, although it has since been amended several times. in particular to put an end to the presence of senator for life ,. It establishes an economic model based on the privatization of a large part of public goods, including education, health, pensions and access to water. Faced with the scale of the popular protest movement, the leaders of the majority of Chilean parties signed the "Agreement for social peace and the new Constitution" on November 15, 2019. This provides for the amendment of several articles of chapter XV of the Constitution allowing the drafting of a new fundamental text via the convening of a constituent assembly, a procedure that the Constitution of 1980 did not allow previously. The presidential election is thus preceded by the election of a constituent assembly on May 15 and 16, 2021 following the referendum organized on October 25, 2020 where the voters voted for a change of Constitution as well as on the principle of a constituent assembly responsible for drafting the new fundamental law. President Sebastián Piñera, mentioned in the Pandora Papers and suspected of having used his office to defend his interests as a businessman, narrowly escapes impeachment proceedings in November 2021. The news is also dominated by the theme of the conflict in the region of Araucanía, where the Mapuche people demand the restitution of their ancestral lands which they deem captured by large companies. Activists carry out attacks and fires against large logging operations, leading the Chilean government to declare a state of emergency in mid-October and militarize the region. The actions of the security forces cause several deaths among the civilian population.

Electoral system

The President of the Republic is elected by uninominal majority ballot in two rounds for a four-year term not renewable consecutively. The candidate who receives the absolute majority of valid votes in the first round, organized on the third Sunday in November of the fourth year of the current presidential mandate, is elected. Failing that, the two candidates who came first in the first round compete in a second organized on the fourth Sunday following the first, and the one collecting the most votes is declared elected.

Applications

Primary

Left

During the primary of July 18, 2021, Gabriel Boric is nominated candidate

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