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News > Chile

Chile: Ex-Union Leader Cuevas Elected as Presidential Candidate

  • People’s List presidential candidate Cristian Cuevas, Chile.

    People’s List presidential candidate Cristian Cuevas, Chile. | Photo: Twitter/ @tresquintos

Published 6 August 2021
Opinion

The People’s List has three weeks to gather 33,000 signatures to register him in the Electoral Service (SERVEL).

On Thursday, the Chilean People’s List (LP) movement elected Cristian Cuevas as its candidate for the November presidential elections. He led the struggles of the National Copper Corporation (CODELCO) workers for the non-compliance with their labor agreements and is his country’s first union leader to declare himself homosexual.

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LP chose the ex-union leader after a week of deliberation in which it was also analyzed whether an Indigenous woman should be a presidential candidate. During the movement's assembly, however, 43 out of 76 participants voted in favor of Cueva.

This left-wing movement has three weeks to gather 33,000 signatures among the citizenry to register its candidate in the Electoral Service (SERVEL). Meanwhile, the People's List will announce Cuevas’ candidacy at Santiago City's Dignity Square on Friday.

Cuevas has a long history as a political activist since he was a member of the Socialist Party (1983-1998), Communist Party (1999-2015), and Social Convergence Party (2018-2019). In the latter, he even got to be vice president.

Cuevas also stands out for having been the President of the Copper Workers Confederation (CTC) in 2007 and Labor Attaché on the diplomatic mission of President Michelle Bachelet (2014-2018) in Spain. In 2015, however, he resigned from the latter position given that the Bachelet administration did not respect the agreements reached with the CODELCO workers.

In Nov. 2020, the People's List was founded to reject the "Agreement for Social Peace and the New Constitution", which the administration of Sebastian Piñera raised to try to lessen the force of the proposals that citizens articulated by themselves since the 2019 protests.

Previously, this leftist movement had created a digital platform to campaign in favor of drafting a new constitution to replace the one created during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990).

"Our vision is to build a plurinational and dignified country that owns its natural wealth and invests in the greatest heritage it has: its people," the PL movement stated.

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