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Chilean President-elect Gabriel Boric Chilean President-elect Gabriel Boric  (AFP or licensors)

Chile Bishops on election: A new opportunity for the country

Ex-student leader Gabriel Boric, has won the second round runoff for the Presidency of Chile. The country’s Catholic bishops congratulate the new President reminding him of his pledge to serve the nation.

By James Blears

In a statement released following the announcement of Gabriel Boric’s victory in Chile’s disputed Presidential election, the country’s Episcopal Conference says it is “A new opportunity for the country.”

Boric’s victory meanwhile was something of a turnaround. Conservative Jose Antonio Kast narrowly won round one of the Presidential Election last month by just two points. But, prior to this runoff, a significant number of voters, who`d appeared undecided in the opinion polls, made up their minds.  1.2 million more people voted, this time around. And it`s resulted in leftist former Legislator Gabriel Boric aged just thirty-five winning, to become the youngest President-Elect of Chile, in modern times.  With almost all of the votes counted, he`s won fifty-six percent of the vote, compared with forty-four percent for Jose Antonio Kast.

With the political writing on the wall, Kast promptly and graciously conceded defeat, phoning Boric with congratulations and wishing him well.  And outgoing President Sebastian Pinera held a phone conference with Boric, pledging full support and cooperation in the three months transition period, which will culminate with The Inauguration in March. 

Boric is vowing to be a worthy leader for all Chileans. He says he`ll increase taxes on the mega-rich, improve the scope and focus of welfare plus social services and do more to protect the environment. Backed by a coalition of the left, the once student leader will now be the leader of the Nation of Chile. 

The Bishops' statement

In their statement, Chile’s Catholic bishops congratulated the new President on his electoral victory noting that "The country has given you a vote of confidence and entrusts you with a great mission, guiding the destiny of our country as its top authority and first servant."

"We pray to God to give you wisdom and strength, which you will undoubtedly need," the statement continues. Signed by Cardinal Celestino Aós Braco, Bishop of Santiago and President of the Conference, and by its Secretary-General, Bishop Sergio Pérez de Arce Arriagada, of Chillán, it points out that "The mission is always greater than our possibilities and capacities, but we trust that, with the collaboration of citizens, the work of various social and political actors, and the spiritual strength that comes from faith and the deepest human convictions, you can face its task with generosity, commitment and prudence."

 

 

20 December 2021, 12:31