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Boric, de líder estudiantil a presidente de Chile en solo una década

Borek, from student leader to Chilean president in just one decade

Maria M. Moore / EFE

Since the progressive Gabriel Borek led student rallies in favor of tipping until Friday, arriving at the La Moneda presidential palace as the youngest president in Chilean history, only a decade has passed.

A meteoric trajectory has always experimented with the same idea: fight inequality in Chile by ending the neoliberal model installed during the military dictatorship (1973-1990) and building a welfare state similar to European democracies, with ecological, feminist, and territorial.

And he would repeat during the election campaign: “If Chile is the cradle of neoliberalism in Latin America, it will also be its graveyard.”

Turn to moderation

When the race to La Moneda began in July last year, no one imagined that the young representative of southern Magallanes – who turned 36 – would end up winning the December 19 ballot over far-right Jose Antonio Caste with 55.8% of the vote. The difference is nearly 12 points.

It was the election that witnessed the greatest political tension since the end of the regime and youth and women played a key role in its landslide victory.

A staunch defender of the constitutional process in which Chile is engulfed and the wave of protests at the end of 2019, Borek turned his rhetoric into the final phase of the campaign to get into the pocket of centrist voters and drive away fear from them. Born into the business community, his alliance with the Communists.

He turned to the middle he also showed when he announced at the end of January the names that would make up his government, among them the name of Mario Marcel, the former head of the Central Bank and the champion of fiscal consolidation at the Treasury Department.

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“We will make all the changes that we have proposed step by step because we have an agreement that the vast majority of Chileans are demanding structural changes that will make it possible to lead a decent life,” he said on January 4th.

In addition to the younger, Borek will also be the first president who is not part of the two traditional centrist blocs that have led the country since the return to democracy.

A new pension system that replaces the current system of individual capitalization, exemption from college credits, a universal health fund or an ambitious tax reform to collect up to 5% of GDP are some of his government’s promises.

The first women’s government

Borek will also make history because of the composition of his government, the first to include more women than men on the continent (14 compared to 10) and where the Ministry of Women’s Affairs will play a leading role, integrating for the first time the hard core of government, along with powerful conservatives such as the Treasury or the interior.

“I want to ask men, in particular, that we take feminism seriously, and that this is not a banality, a postmodern response to demands for identity,” the president said last week.

Close to former Uruguayan President José Mujica, Pablo Iglesias and Anigo Errejón, founders of Spain’s Podemos party, and critic of the Bolivarian regimes in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba, Borek is a symbolic politician.

Evidence of this is the choice of a guild of feminist seamstresses to embroider his band or the decision to rent an old house in a decadent neighborhood of the capital for his presidential residence.

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His closest circle comes from his time as a student leader: his right-hand man Giorgio Jackson, who is credited with Boric’s moderation and who would be responsible for the government’s relations with Parliament, a position very important given the future fragmentation of the party. bicycle.

Both entered Parliament for the first time in 2014, and three years later established the Broad Front, the political formation they landed in La Moneda in coalition with the Communist Party.