July 14, 2024

Pathfinder News

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35 Year Old Student Activist Gabriel Boric Elected Chile’s Youngest President

The streets of Santiago erupted in celebration after leftist millennial Gabriel Boric became Chile’s youngest-ever president-elect with an unexpectedly large victory over his far-right rival in a polarizing race.

Boric, 35, garnered nearly 56 percent of the vote compared to 44 percent for ultra-conservative Jose Antonio Kast, who conceded even before the final result was announced. The president-elect started student activism in high school and in 2011, he studied law at the University of Chile, where he was then elected student union leader. The president-elect started student activism at high school and in 2011 when he studied law at the University of Chile, where he was elected student union leader.

Tens of thousands of Chileans took to the streets of the capital and other cities after Kast’s concession, honking car horns in approval, brandishing pro-Boric placards, waving the rainbow LGBTQ flag and shouting: “Viva Chile!”

Mr Boric told supporters he would look after democracy, promising curbs on Chile’s neoliberal economic model.

He will lead a country that has been rocked in recent years by mass protests against inequality and corruption.

In his speech, Mr Boric said he was taking on the job with humility and a “tremendous sense of responsibility”, vowing to “firmly fight against the privileges of a few”.

“We have an enormous challenge. I know that in the coming years, the future of our country is at stake, so I guarantee that I will be a president who cares for democracy and does not risk it, listens more than speaks, seeks unity, and attends to the needs of the people daily,” he said.

Official results gave Mr Boric 56% of the votes against Mr Kast’s 44%. Mr Kast conceded defeat barely an hour-and-a-half after polls closed, and with around half of ballots counted.

Both candidates offered starkly different visions for the country, and both are outsiders representing political parties that have never been in government.