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Chile Leans Towards Right Party

Chile Leans Towards Right Party

Tuesday, 19 December, 2017 - 08:15
Presidential candidate Sebastian Pinera gestures after winning the presidential election, in Santiago, Chile, December 17, 2017. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

This is not the first time Sebastian Pinera wins the presidency of Chile, as this is his second term after socialist Michelle Bachelet's election as president of the rich South American country, which became one of the continent's most economically developed countries.

No doubt that the election of Pinera will push Chile to achieve unprecedented economic growth rates, especially as the presidential candidate is considered one of the richest people in the country, in addition to his economic history. He managed in his previous term between 2010 and 2014 to achieve growth reaching 5 percent.

Analysts believe that Pinera's political road will not be very difficult, especially since former President Bachelet has fought political battles inside the country, paving the way for Pinera and offering him the greatest favor on his presidential path.

For years, former President Bachelet was able to change the country's abortion law, a very controversial issue in Chile where the law banned abortion. But now after that has been resolved, Pinera has no choice but to work on the country's economic frameworks.

The new president does not have a majority in the Chilean parliament, but many Chileans consider the country's ruling political classes will cooperate. However, a decline in social reforms, which aren't the main concern of right-wing party, may be noticed.

Chilean newspaper "El Mercurio" stated that the political and economic conditions in Venezuela had affected significantly the Chilean elections, as voters preferred to vote for the businessman Pinera rather than the left-wing candidate Alejandro Guillier. This is to avoid the decline of the country into the left wing already struggling in Latin America.

Left-wing party candidate Alejandro Guillier admitted his defeat in the elections, and after 96.31 percent of the votes were counted, he received 45.43 percent of the votes, while Pinera won 54.57 percent of the votes.

However, Chilean television broadcast footage of a phone call between Pinera and Bachelet congratulating him on his presidential victory. Pinera also appeared next to Guillier after the results to congratulate him, too.

President-elect Pinera will lead Chile, the world's largest copper exporter, for a four-year presidential term starting next March, taking over leadership from Bachelet who is barred by constitution from running for another term.

Since 2006, the presidency in Chile has been alternating between Bachelet and Pinera, at a time the region swung to the right with conservative presidents ruling in formerly leftist-ruled states like Argentina, President Mauricio Macri, in Brazil, President Michel Temer, and in Peru, President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

Despite the increase in copper exports, contributing significantly to the economy of Chile and due to increased Chinese demand and the boom in the production of electric vehicles, the rates of economic growth fell relatively compared to previous years.

Chile’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow 1.4 percent, the lowest growth rate over the past eight years.

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