Participation in elections in Chile did not reach 50 percent of the electoral roll

Voting center in Santiago, Chile (Reuters)
Voting center in Santiago, Chile (Reuters)

53% of the nearly 15 million people calls to vote in the presidential elections of Chile this Sunday abstained from exercising his right to vote, according to the percentage of participation that is extracted this Monday from the Electoral Service of the country with 99.9% of the polls scrutinized.

Specific, 7,115,590 attended to deposit their ballot to elect the successor of the current president, Sebastián Piñera, which represents 47.6% of the register, below the 50.9% obtained in the plebiscite on the constituent process held in October 2020 and slightly higher than the 46.7% of the first round of the previous presidential elections, in 2017.

Low participation has become chronic in Chile since the implementation of the voluntary suffrage and since then only last year’s plebiscite exceeded 50% participation.

Last June, for the first regional elections in the country’s history, there was only 19.6% participation, the lowest since Chile returned to democracy in 1990.

In the presidential elections this Sunday, Chileans they focused their votes on the far right José Antonio Kast and the leftist Gabriel Boric above the other five applicants present on the ballots, but none of them obtained more than 50% of the preferences, so they will contest the first magistracy in the second round, scheduled for next December 19.

Kast and Boric
Kast and Boric

With the scrutiny practically over, Kast, a 55-year-old former deputy and lawyer who has defended the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990) on several occasions, achieved the 27.94% of the votes; While Boric, a 35-year-old deputy and champion of a leftist formation that has the support of the Communist Party, reaped 25.69%.

Both are united by being representatives of political forces founded a few years ago and to pick up the disenchanted vote with the current institutional framework, but their government programs differ completely in their political, economic and social nature.

In addition to the presidential elections, this Sunday Chile elected 27 new senators to renew an Upper House that from 2022 will have 50 seats; and the total of 155 deputies, reconfiguring the correlation of forces within the National Congress.

With the preliminary results, everything indicates that in none of the Chambers will there be clear majorities and that both right-wing and left-wing groups will be forced to articulate support.

(With information from EFE)


Chile, on the way to the second round: in which regions José Antonio Kast and Gabriel Boric prevailed
Kast: “We are going to choose between freedom and communism”
Boric: “It will not be the first time we started from behind”

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