Latin America

Chile heads into its most consequential presidential election in decades

Left-wing momentum emerging from the 2019-20 protests has now been challenged by a rising far-right candidate, with unpredictability and surprising turnarounds the order of the day

chile elections president
Chilean presidential candidate José Antonio Kast from far-right Republican Party meets with Chilean-based international media reporters in Santiago, Chile, November 12, 2021. The hat reads ‘Dare yourself.’ Photo: Ivan Alvarado/Reuters/Alamy

The presidential election in Chile this Sunday is no ordinary contest.

The country is undergoing its biggest transformation since Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship in the 1970s, with constitutional reform underway after years of massive street protests. And the favorites to replace center-right billionaire businessman Sebastián Piñera at the La Moneda Palace are not exactly products of the country’s political establishment.

“The polls show a far-right candidate like José Antonio Kast and a leftist like Gabriel Boric making it to the second round,” pollster and political analyst Axel Callis from the Tú Influyes consultancy tells The Brazilian Report. “We...

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