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The presidential candidate of the Republican Party of Chile (ultra-right), José Antonio Kast, received harsh criticism on Monday from the right and left candidates for his statements in defense of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990), in the framework of the debate of the National Television Association (Anatel).
"It is regrettable that a person does not know that torture, murder and imprisonment took place during the dictatorship in our country and that he points out that the elections at that time were democratic," said Yasna Provoste, candidate of the Christian Democrat party (center-left).
In the last televised debate in which six of the seven candidates for the Chilean presidency participated, the first accusations were concentrated against Kast after he defended Pinochet's dictatorial regime in an interview last week.
On this occasion, the far-right candidate asked the moderators not to talk about the past and avoided the question on the Pinochet issue, but the other candidates immediately questioned him.
"There are some who do not like to go back to the past because it is convenient for them to forget it, Jecar Neghme, Marcela Barrios, Sofia Yañez, all murdered by the Pinochet dictatorship that you support," said the candidate of the leftist bloc Apruebo Dignidad, Gabriel Boric.
From the Progressive Party (left), candidate Marco Enríquez-Ominami said, "we must be careful with 'Doctor Fear' José Antonio Kast, who manipulates the election with fear and insecurity."
Even the right-wing candidate of the ruling bloc Chile Podemos Más, Sebastián Sichel, challenged him, saying that "something that we democrats share in general is that violence is never valuable, quoting Pinochet in the 21st century, in a full democracy, is a mistake".
The presidential election will be held next Sunday, November 21, and eventually, the second round will be held on December 19.