Chile's new socialist president promises to bury neoliberalism 5 months ago

Chile's new socialist president promises to bury neoliberalism

Chileans have voted in socialist candidate Gabriel Boric, making him the country's youngest ever president

Socialist candidate Gabriel Boric has been elected as Chile's new president, promising he will make Chile the "grave" of neoliberalism.

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On Monday, 35-year-old former student protest leader Boric defeated his far-right rival José Antonio Kast, taking 56 per cent of the votes against Kast's 44 per cent.

Kast had won the first round of voting in November, running on a law-and-order platform but a huge increase in participation saw more than a million more voters show up in the next round of voting, the Economist reports.

Boric told his supporters he would look after democracy, promising curbs on Chile's neoliberal free market economy.

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Boric has also promised to expand social rights, reform Chile's pension and healthcare systems, along with reducing the working week from 45 to 40 hours and boosting green investment.

In 1973, a coup in the country saw General Pinochet take power, ruling until 1990. The legacy of his military dictatorship has remained in Chile ever since.

"If Chile was the cradle of neoliberalism, it will also be its grave. Do not be afraid of the youth changing this country," said Boric.

In his victory speech on Sunday, he said: "We are a generation that emerged in public life demanding our rights be respected as rights and not treated like consumer goods or a business.

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"We no longer will permit that the poor keep paying the price of Chile's inequality."

Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis congratulated Boric on his victory, saying: "At last. The spectre of Pinochet is removed from Chile. Congratulations to fellow Progressive International member Gabriel Boric.

"The hard work to redistribute wealth in Chile begins now."

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Meanwhile former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said that Boric's victory will usher in "a bright new dawn in Latin American politics."

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