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Chile elects 35 year-old former student leader as President

35-year-old Gabriel Boric has been elected Chile’s youngest-ever president, capping a remarkable rise for the Andean nation’s progressive left.

He convincingly defeated far-right rival Jose Antonio Kast in the country’s presidential runoff on Sunday.

“I am going to be a president of all Chileans, whether you voted for me or not,” Boric, 35, said in a call with current President Sebastian Pinera on Sunday night.

“I am going to do my best to get on top of this tremendous challenge.”

Boric, who will take office in March, tapped into public anger at Chile’s market-oriented economic model, widely considered to have helped drive decades of rapid economic growth but stoking inequality.

That imbalance sparked widespread angry social uprisings in 2019, lighting the fuse for the political rise of the progressive left and the redrafting of the country’s dictatorship-era constitution.

“If Chile was the cradle of neoliberalism, it will also be its grave,” Boric said when he won the candidacy of his leftist bloc. “Do not be afraid of the youth changing this country.”

 

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