Chile’s Next Transition
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The first round of the Chilean presidential elections on November 19 generated a surprising result. Against most expectations, conservative favorite Sebastián Piñera got just 37 percent, while his main opponent, Alejandro Guillier of the left, achieved a respectable 23 percent. Yet the most notable result was the unexpected rise of the second leftist candidate Beatriz Sánchez with 20 percent, despite polls having not given her the slightest chance. The other two candidates, Carolina Goic of the Christian-Democrats and “Chile’s Donald Trump,” Jose-Antonio Kast of the far-right, got 6 and 8 percent respectively. This created a stalemate between the left and the right that will ensure a tight race until the decisive run-off round on December 17 between the two remaining candidates Piñera and Guillier. Thus, Chile’s November 19 elections have created the most interesting and unpredictable political constellation since the return to democracy in 1989.