July 2, 2022

The many challenges awaiting Gabriel Boric, youngest president in the history of Chile

All the lexical field of moderation was deployed, during the victory speech of the elected Chilean president, Sunday, December 19, after an in-between rounds which has continued to pull towards the center. ” Step by step “, in a way “Gradual”, “Walk after walk”, by establishing “Priorities” : the profound changes promised by Gabriel Boric (left), 36 when he takes office on March 11, 2022, “Can not all be done at the same time”, he insisted, contrasting with his much more proactive tone at the start of the campaign.

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If the ballot that signed the defeat of his far-right rival, José Antonio Kast, credited him with a record number of votes (56% of the vote), compared to the Chilean democratic archives, and if his rise to the presidency is shrouded in a historical halo, the challenges that Gabriel Boric expects are nonetheless daunting.

Without a clear majority in Congress, the president-elect will not be able to move forward with a free hand for the rapid introduction of the new social rights on his program, such as a public pension system, free education, universal health coverage, in addition. a working week reduced to forty hours or even an increase in the minimum wage. Alliances, but also dialogue with the opposition, will thus be essential in Parliament.

Coalition negotiations

“He will be forced to weight certain measures, such as the increase in taxes [qui doivent atteindre 5 % du PIB en quatre ans de mandat] », anticipates Felipe Aguero, political scientist at the Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Chile. The fulcrum of these discussions is among the traditional center-left forces, the prevalence of which in the next government is still unknown.

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Big promises have yet to be articulated into precise policies. This is the case, first of all, of the thorny reform of the pension system – currently by private individual capitalization and already heckled by a series of punctures authorized since 2020 -, the workings of which remain unclear.

Furthermore, “Gabriel Boric will have to negotiate within his own coalition [qui incorpore du Parti communiste jusqu’au centre gauche], with forces which will push for a rapid application of its measures and others which will seek to discuss ”, continues Felipe Auguero. « Its main challenge is to build a stable majority ”, abounds Fernando Rosenblatt, political scientist at Diego Portales University.

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