SANTIAGO, Dec 20 (IANS): Leftist candidate Gabriel Boric won the Chilean presidential election, after his rival, right-wing politician Jose Antonio Kast, conceded, making him the youngest elected leader in the country’s history.
At 35-years-old, Boric will also become one of the world’s youngest political leaders.
He received 55.87 per cent of the votes cast on Sunday, while Kast garnered 44.13 per cent, Xinhua news agency quoted the Electoral Service of Chile as saying in a statement.
“I congratulated him on his great triumph. From today, he is the elected president of Chile and deserves all our respect and constructive collaboration,” Kast wrote on Twitter.
Kast had won the first round of the presidential election on November 21 with 27.9 per cent of the vote and a little more than 146,000 ballots of difference.
Outgoing President Sebastian Pinera, in a phone conversation with the President-elect, said that he is sure Boric will deliver “the best of himself”.
“We all hope that you will create a very good government for Chile and for Chileans,” Pinera said.
The President said that more than 8 million people voted in the election, one of the highest numbers in the country’s history.
For this election, 14,959,956 people are eligible to vote, while 71,018 people are registered abroad, for a total of 15,030,974 voters.
Boric said in the phone conversation that he will be the President “of all Chileans”, adding that he will do his best to tackle any challenges.
Boric is a deputy from the southern region of Magallanes.
He is the candidate of Approve Dignity, a left-wing coalition that includes the Broad Front coalition and the Communist Party of Chile.
A former student protest leader, he backed the mass demonstrations against inequality and alleged corruption that rocked Chile in 2019 and 2020, reports the BBC.
According to the UN, Chile has one of the world’s largest income gaps, with 1 per cent of the population owning 25 per cent of the country’s wealth.