Left-wing former student leader Gabriel Boric has beat out far-right candidate Jose Antonio Kast with nearly 100% of the votes tallied, according to figures published by Chile's electoral authorities SERVEL.
Chile Election Update: Polls Have Closed and Vote Count Begins
Winning 55,86% of the votes cast thus far, compared to Kast's 44,214%, Boric has a wide enough margin of over 11.5 percentage points to be declared winner of this Sunday's democratic exercise.
Polls officially closed at 6 pm local time in the country's second-round runoff presidential elections, after which the vote count immediately began and within the span of just two hours, practically all of the total votes had been tallied.
Speaking to his supporters after his defeat Sunday, Kast said, ""I want to congratulate Gabriel Boric. He deserves all our respects, he won in a very good fight, many Chileans trusted him and we hope he has a very good government."
Kast further said in the afternoon from his command center, "Today that journey is a joint one. Today there are great majorities that have been expressed and great balances that have been reached. That balance today is in the Parliament and it is a balance that I believe will help Gabriel Boric to govern. Because we are good people, we look for things that improve the quality of life of the people," said Kast.
Boric, in his victory speech to the nation Sunday night, referencing the government's implicit boycott of the election, said, "I thank the people who tried to vote and were unable to do so due to lack of public transportation, this cannot happen again."
He continued saying he wanted to "thank the women of our country, who organized themselves throughout the country to defend their hard-earned rights," stating that "our project is the heir of a long historical trajectory... I will be the president of all Chilean men and women."
Boric, in his speech, said he would show "respect for human rights everywhere is an unwavering commitment, and that we can never, for any reason, have a president here who declares war on his own people."
Boric had previously secured victory among Chilean voters abroad, notably in Spain, Germany and France, and has successfully mobilized young people, women and the working class despite considerable difficulties in public transport in the capital Santiago de Chile on election day, in an attempt to prevent voters from reaching polling stations.
Boric and Kast earned the first two spots on Chile's November 21 first round of elections, beating out five other presidential hopefuls. Yet, this Sunday, Boric's progressive-oriented platform was able to convince the majority of voters over Kast's outward sympathy to the Pinochet dictatorship as well as his divisive and xenophobic ideology.