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"I come to represent change, the hope that it is possible to build a more just and equitable country," leftist candidate Gabriel Boric stated.
On Wednesday, Chile’s presidential candidates Gabriel Boric, Yasna Provoste, Sebastian Sichel, Jose Kast, and Eduardo Artes started their campaign for the Nov. 21 elections with a television debate, which confirmed leftist politician Boric as the leading candidate.
"I come to represent change, the hope that it is possible to build a more just and equitable country," Boric stated and proposed to transform the current private pension system into a public system capable of ensuring decent pensions to all Chileans.
"Private pension administrators do illicit businesses to earn extra profits. As they get richer, workers get poorer," he stressed, recalling that citizens get pensions of less than US$190.
The first debate focused on the economic recovery following the pandemic, which prompted a 5,7 percent inflation even though the country has partially recovered its economic activity.
Senator Provoste, the only woman running for president, spoke out in favor of allowing the exceptional withdrawal of 10 percent of citizens' pension funds, arguing that this mechanism enabled many women to receive alimony.
a growing socialist movement lives on in chile. the people have not forgotten allende, nor the coup that took his life. there is hope in the air, particularly as we approach the general elections in november. pic.twitter.com/YB3frBZsFt
In discussing civil rights, all candidates except far-right politicians Sichel and Kast agreed on extending free abortion rights to all women, whether the mother has been raped or not.
"Women who decide to abort shall have appropriate psychological and health assistance," leftist candidate Artes insisted.
In other remarks, Boric stressed the importance of dialogue to resolve political conflicts and proposed decentralizing the president's power to grant political participation to all citizens.
According to the Talca University political scientist Mauricio Morales, the debate reflected the citizenry's will to prevent the elite that governed the last 30 years in Chile from being re-elected. So far, Boric leads the electoral polls with a 13 percent voting preference.
#FromTheSouth News Bits | Activists and social movements in Chile signed a letter addressed to the government of Sebastián Piñera demanding protection for asylum seekers in the country. pic.twitter.com/UHfKFHM6T5