There is a phrase that Gabriel Boric has repeated throughout his campaign: “I want to be a president who when his term ends will have less power than when he started.” The 35-year-old leftist candidate, born in the city of Punta Arenas, some 3,000 kilometers south of Santiago, has decentralization of power among the axes of his discourse. Despite inviting its voters to look outside the Metropolitan Region, it is there and in large cities where its most faithful electorate is. In the second round campaign, he has moderated his speech and focused on issues such as security and irregular immigration, two subjects on which he did not previously focus.
Just six months ago, Boric struggled to gather the necessary signatures to run for president and today, as a candidate for the Broad Front in alliance with the Communist Party, he is the one who leads all the polls to reach La Moneda. It was a key signature in the Agreement for Peace signed by political leaders after the 2019 riots. The pact led to a plebiscite in which the option of burying Augusto Pinochet’s Constitution was destroyed. Today, the Constitutional Convention is halfway through the drafting of a new Fundamental Charter that Chileans will have to vote on whether to approve or reject it.
This is the Chile that the leftist candidate proposes if he becomes president:
Boric has promised to increase the tax to the richest 1.5% in the country and eliminate tax exemptions and generate 500,000 female jobs in the four years of government to recover pre-pandemic levels. In addition, it wants to prioritize public works that have a greater impact on the generation of employment in a decentralized way and that can be executed or in which small, medium-sized companies and cooperatives can participate. Finally, he has said that he will increase the amounts, percentages and periods in the use of unemployment insurance (the program does not specify the figures).
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One of Boric’s bets is to gradually eliminate the current private pension system (AFP), and replace it with a state solidarity system, social security, where the workers’ funds are administered by an autonomous public entity and not a private company. According to his campaign, this will not interfere with the ownership of the funds saved to date in the individually funded system and the funds from the current system will be inheritable.
The candidate proposes to create a Ministry of Security that guarantees the control of public order, receives intelligence information and supervises everything from crime prevention to reintegration. In addition, he wants to strengthen audits to end the illegal use of firearms and advocates a structural reform of the Carabineros de Chile (police), where they are trained to be specialists in crime prevention and to manage order with full respect. of human rights and with the ultimate goal of protecting people and their rights.
His campaign plan is to establish a regular, orderly and safe migration policy, aligned with international covenants, respecting human rights and to carry out a registry of foreigners in an irregular situation within a period of four months. In addition, in the section where it is proposed to enable humanitarian residences to facilitate access to emergency housing, migrants are mentioned. It also aims to promote the signing and ratification of the Global Migration Pact and strengthen the mechanisms for the protection of the most vulnerable groups, although it has not offered details of how it will do so.
Boric supports legal, free, safe and free abortion, access to contraception in primary health care and promises a bill for a model of Comprehensive, inclusive and non-sexist Sexual Education. It also wants to create a Comprehensive Law on Gender Violence that has the legal tools for the eradication, investigation, punishment and reparation of violence and strengthen the Ministry of Women and Gender.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.