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In Chile, a Polarized Presidential Race Portends More Political Gridlock

MIN READNov 23, 2021 | 19:11 GMT

Chilean presidential candidates Gabriel Boric (left) and Jose Kast talk during a debate in Santiago, Chile, on Nov. 2, 2021.

Chilean presidential candidates Gabriel Boric (left) and Jose Kast talk during a debate in Santiago on Nov. 2, 2021.

(Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images)

The results of Chile’s general election will likely exacerbate existing political polarization and threaten the success of the constitutional rewrite process, increasing uncertainty for businesses operating in the country. Jose Kast from the far-right Republican Party and Gabriel Boric from the left-wing “Apruebo Dignidad” (I Approve Dignity) coalition will compete in the final round of Chile’s presidential election on Dec. 19 after coming in first and second, respectively, in the first round held on Nov. 21. Kast (who won 27.9% of the vote) supports maintaining Chile’s free-market economy and combating illegal immigration, while Boric (who won 25.8% of the vote) supports increasing taxes and royalties on businesses in order to pay for a dramatic expansion of social services in the country. ...

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