Latin America

Kast and Boric reach decisive presidential runoff in Chile

Polarized election confirms the anti-establishment sentiment in Chile, as traditional parties fall to fourth and fifth place

kast supporters
Far-right José Antonio Kast addresses supporters after finishing the first round in the lead. Photo: Twitter/@JoseAntonioKast

Chile’s most consequential presidential election in decades confirmed that the country is undergoing a profound process of political renovation, with two candidates relatively unknown to mainstream politics until recently qualifying for the December 19 runoff. 

Often compared to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, far-right figure José Antonio Kast confirmed his recent surge in the polls by taking 27.9 percent of the first-round vote on Sunday. He was followed by left-winger and former student activist Gabriel Boric, only two points behind with 25.8 percent, with 99 percent of the ballots already counted.

Another anti-establishment outsider came in third, with...

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