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With over 92,75% of the votes counted, the top two candidates, Boric and Kast, will face off in a runoff election set for December 19.
In Chile's first-round presidential elections, former student leader for the leftist Apruebo Dignidad coalition Gabriel Boric has obtained over 25% of the vote, whereas far-right lawyer for the Partido Republicano Jose Antonio Kast has won 28% of the vote, meaning the two will face off in a tense runoff in just over three weeks.
In third place, populist outsider candidate Franco Parisi earned just over 13% of the vote, and in fourth and a close fifth, Christian democrat Yasna Provoste snagged just over 12% and center-right candidate Sebastian Sichel earned just under 12% of the vote, respectively.
Over 6 million votes have been counted thus far, as over 15 million Chileans were called upon to elect their new president, along with 155 lawmakers, 27 senators, and 302 regional councilors for the 2022-2026 term.
Speaking to his supporter upon learning of his first-place finish in the first round of elections, Kast blamed delinquents and rioters for Chile's social problems, alluding to those who fought for the country's constutitional convention as the main causes of the country's violence.
Vaguely referring to concepts of democracy, peace and freedom, Kast scapegoated the Left by saying he refused to let Chile become Venezuela, rallying his supporters to choose between freedom and communism.
"With almost 30%, the trend continues. Second round in Chile. @joseantoniokast and @gabrielboric. Here, the %: #ChileDecide"
On the other hand, the former student leader, Boric, spoke to his supporters after placing second in the elections, highlighting the need to improve public services, end the political privileges for an elite minority and find unity among diverse sectors of the center and the left to beat the ultra-right candidate, Kast.
Boric furthermore said his presidency would defend the constituent process that began in 2019, asserting to that win the second round, his coalition will have to be "humble and receptive," never "haughty and arrogant."
Boric said, "When the road gets rough, it tests the mettle of the leadership that sustains it. We are not going against something, I do not come to occupy this tribune to speak against the other candidate, it is not my style. This is the crusade in which hope wins over fear. I am grateful for the trust of thousands of people who have told us that we have this mandate and that we are here tonight disputing a second round that will be historic."
Still to be counted in Sunday's general elections are the votes cast for representatives, senators and regional council-members, although initial results show the left-wing Apruebo Dignidad list winning around 20% of the seats, the right-wing Chile Podemos Más coalition securing over 28% of the seats, the liberal New Social Pact list gaining nearly 18% of the seats, and other independent, extremist and fringe groupings earning the rest of the seats.
This election marks the first time that the presidential candidates facing off in the second round of elections are not from either the Independent Democratic Union or the Socialist Party, which have formed the coalitions that have taken turns in the exercise of power since the fall of the Pinochet dictatorship in 1990.