Gabriel Boric, a young hope against the Chilean far right

Two points from the far right, which won the first round of the presidential election (27.9% of the vote), on November 21, the camp of Gabriel Boric (left) knows that the road to the palace of La Moneda, in Santiago, on December 19, will be difficult. “We are the best way to a more just country”, yet harangued the Chilean deputy, elected since 2014, in front of his supporters, at the head of a vast coalition ranging from the Communist Party to center-left sensibilities.

Five months ago, nothing left to imagine that this young candidate of 35 years – the legal age to compete for the presidency of the country – would play the role of last bulwark against the return of the extreme right, embodied by the ex-deputy José Antonio Kast, 55-year-old lawyer and father of nine children, already a candidate in the 2017 election, in which he was credited with nearly 8% of the vote.

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In July, Gabriel Boric created the first surprise in the primary election of the left: he won over the favorite candidate, a Communist mayor from the north of the capital. The year before, with checked shirts with rolled up sleeves showing his tattoos, he said in a television interview: “I don’t have the experience, I still have a lot to learn. “ This sentence and his youth have been criticized many times. “Collective conditions [ont depuis] been built “, he retorted, in October 2021, to a television host who pushed him to his limits.

“A young idealist”

During the campaign, Gabriel Boric was notably attacked on the economic aspect of his program and the projected tax increases – in order to finance the social rights demanded by the streets in 2019, with universal health, education and pensions. -, considered disproportionate by its detractors.

“Saying ‘I have no experience’ is necessary for a president, because it is a sign of humility, but it also reveals his lack of support, decrypted Kenneth Bunker, political scientist and director of the consultancy firm Tresquintos. Gabriel Boric is a young idealist who has a great sense of adversity: originally from the south of the country, he managed to win in Santiago, where all the Chilean elite come from. “

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It is in Punta Arenas, where the land of Chile crumbles between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans that the candidate spent his childhood, in a social democratic family where political discussions were invited to the table. “Our parents worked a lot, we grew up between our uncles and our grandparents, in a warm atmosphere, I think that forged his sense of the collective, describes Simon Boric, 33, one of his two younger brothers. He is a thoughtful, measured person, without great material ambitions, faithful to his group of friends, of good advice. “

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