Chile Elections 2021: 5 keys to the historic elections that mark a before and after in Chile

Chile Elections 2021: 5 keys to the historic elections that mark a before and after in Chile

An electoral offer of almost 17,000 candidates, a vote held in an unprecedented way in two days due to the pandemic and results that contradicted all forecasts and were marked by the defeat of the ruling right wing and the rise of independent candidates.

Chile held this weekend a historic mega-elections to elect the 155 candidates who will draft its new Constitution, but also mayors, councilors and governors.

These are the five keys to elections that have already marked a before and after in the history of the world’s leading copper producer and the country with the highest per capita income in Latin America.

1.- THE INDEPENDENT TSUNAMI

In the constituent elections, the most important in the recent history of Chile, the independents were the big winners and, against all odds and with a proportional counting system that disfavored them, they won 48 of the 155 seats to write the new Constitution.

They are new faces, people outside the structures of traditional political parties: academics, activists or professionals who defend various sensitivities, such as feminism, the environment, education or health.

His success in this vote is seen by some experts as the death certificate of the discredited parties.

Although they lack party affiliation, the vast majority are aligned with progressive ideas, and many seek to channel through the new Magna Carta the demands that emanated from the streets during the massive demonstrations of 2019.

2.- THE CRASH OF THE RIGHT

In addition to the victory of the independent citizens in the constituents, the good results of the opposition from the left and from the center are added. Between the two, they won two-thirds of the constituent seats and made support for the right, the great loser, plummet.

The conservatives of the ruling party, who appeared in a single unified list together with the extreme right, obtained only 37 seats, a result well below the third of the seats to which they aspired and insufficient to influence the text and be able to veto articles during Writing.

The heterogeneous composition of the constituent convention is interpreted as the categorical triumph of change, which seeks to leave behind the current Constitution -drafted during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990) -, but also draws complex negotiations with tensions at the time of sealing agreements.

3.- THE LEFT, IN THE MAIN MAYOR MAYOR

The right also suffered a great defeat in the municipal elections (of mayors and governors) in which it achieved 88 mayoralties, a number much lower than the 145 obtained in 2016.

The left prevailed in emblematic neighborhoods such as the urban center of Santiago, where the communist Irací Hassler ousted the right-wing candidate Felipe Alessandri, who was running for reelection.

The ruling party also lost the mayoralties of the tourist coastal cities of Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, the latter in which the conservatives had ruled for almost 20 years and where a candidate from the Broad Front, a leftist bloc that emerged from the protests, prevailed. students of 2011 and that regained strength in the elections this weekend.

4.- A WATER DEFENDER IN THE DRIEST REGION

In the regional elections, in which the governors of the 16 territorial divisions of the country were elected for the first time in a historic step towards decentralization, only 3 candidates won enough support not to go to the second round, all from the left.

Rodrigo Mundaca, an independent and environmental activist, was elected by more than 40% of the electorate as governor of Valparaíso, one of the regions most affected by the growing mega-drought and in which the agribusiness has left thousands of families without running water.

The ecologist, an international Human Rights prize from Nuremberg (Germany), has been fighting for years to change Chile’s water ownership regime, which put 80% of water resources in private hands and where water is not prioritized for consumption human.

5.- RETURN TO THE MANDATORY VOTE?

Despite the importance of the elections, on which the future of the country depends, only 6.5 of the 15 million voters voted, which implies a 43.3% participation.

Since voting was no longer mandatory in 2012, no election has exceeded 50% participation – except for the plebiscite last October, when 50.9% voted – and in 2016 municipal elections only 34.9% voted , the lowest figure.

The low turnout in such a crucial vote, which will set the course for the first Magna Carta that emanates from a fully democratic process in the entire history of Chile, has reopened the debate around the reimplantation of compulsory voting, a measure that It applies to other countries such as Argentina and Brazil.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.