"The government chose the worst path: it boycotts public transport services so that voters from poor neighborhoods do not reach polling stations," a citizen tweeted.
Using social networks to make themselves heard on Sunday morning, Chileans denounced that businessmen are prompting a shortage of transport services in Santiago City to sabotage an election in which the leftist presidential candidate Gabriel Boric is the favorite to defeat the far-right candidate Jose Antonio Kast.
The absence of transportation occurs on a day with temperatures above 96.8°F and mainly affects low-income people who are walking long distances to get to their polling stations. People blame President Sebastian Piñera's administration for being an accomplice in this attempt to prevent citizens from voting en masse against the neoliberal candidate Kast.
"The government chose the worst path: it boycotts public transport services so that voters from poor neighborhoods do not reach polling stations," citizen Pedro Calama tweeted, commenting that the maneuver will only manage to widen the favorable vote to Boric.
"In Chile, public transport hardly works. They are restricting the right to vote. Are they so afraid of the will of the people?," Gaston Castillo said from Uruguay.
In statements to local television and outlets, Giorgio Jackson, the coordinator of Gabriel Boric's political campaign, expressed his concern about what is happening in Santiago's Metropolitan Region, where the shortage of transportation is affecting 7 million people.
“There are people waiting for a bus for over 40 minutes. Transportation engineers alert us to significant drops in flows compared to the usual volume... we call on the government and bus administrators to redouble their efforts," Jackson said, adding that citizens are exhausted waiting for a bus under intense heat.
Sabotearon las votaciones en Chile, por que no salieron los buses de transporte publico. El caos es monumental por que el Pueblo quiere votar, pero no puedan votar por la falta de transporte publico. Saben q el Pueblo votará por @gabrielboric?— Andres Cardona (@ACGameOver) December 19, 2021
Tras el sabotaje algunos ... pic.twitter.com/boD0BiS9mS
The tweet reads, "They sabotaged the Chilean elections because public buses did not go out to provide service. The chaos is monumental because people want to vote but they cannot vote because of the lack of public transportation. Do they know that the people will vote for Gabriel Boric?"
“We want the greatest number of people to participate in the electoral process, whatever their political ideology be. Authorities must facilitate their participation," he stressed.
In response to the increasing number of complaints, Transportation Minister Gloria Hutt came out to say that nothing abnormal was happening. "There is ample bus coverage in Santiago at this time. And rural services operating as scheduled," she said. The lack of public transport, however, not only affected the capital city but also the main Chilean towns.
"The right to vote must be guaranteed. For that, the frequency of public transport is essential. There are serious public transport problems in Valparaiso. We call on the government and its delegate to solve this problem as soon as possible," Valparaiso Mayor Jorge Sharp tweeted.
In this context, however, Chileans do not give in to the boycott promoted by private transport entrepreneurs, a social group that supported the bloody coup against President Salvador Allende in 1973. Through social networks, citizens are calling car owners to help transport voters to the polls.