Historic constituent elections shake Chilean presidential race

Santiago de Chile, May 19 (EFE).- Six candidates from the right and the center-left dropped out of Chile’s presidential race Wednesday as their parties are in full review of political pacts with a view to November’s elections.

Few hours before the deadline to register for legal primaries scheduled for Jul. 18, the Chilean political map shows a shift to the left.

In a day of frantic negotiations, the Socialist Party separated from historical allies such as the Christian Democrats to get closer to the left of the Broad Front and the Communist Party, but they did not come to fruition.

The Democrats, which marked Chile’s institutional pattern for the last 30 years by functioning as a hinge between the center-left and the right, detached from its presidential candidate Senator Ximena Rincon on Wednesday afternoon, after suffering an electoral disaster. Rincon only secured two candidates for the Convention that will draft a new Fundamental Charter for the country.

“I will not be an obstacle for the PDC to form the alliances that it considers necessary for the electoral challenges that lie ahead, and on which the future depends,” said Rincon in her speech before the National Board of the party.

The Democrats are isolated from the rest of the center-left forces, which also saw presidential candidates flop.

Heraldo Munoz, former Chancellor of Michelle Bachelet and former candidate of the Party for Democracy, also renounced his presidential bid to support his Socialist Party counterpart Paula Narvaez.

“The bad thing for us were the results for the constituents (…) this should lead the more traditional parties of the left to reflect on how to tune into the society that is changing,” Muñoz said.

However, up to now the rapprochement between the PC-FA bloc, defined as anti-neoliberal and committed to profound transformations to the system, has not reached agreements with the socialist party leadership due to mistrust with the support of the Party for Democracy.

Being the hardest-hit sector by poll results, the Chilean right is still recovering from its defeat in the weekend’s mega-elections.

From the government led by Sebastian Pinera, possible cabinet changes were announced and his presidential hopefuls have also suffered the expansive post-electoral wave.

The militant of the conservative Independent Democratic Union Evelyn Matthei, deposed her candidacy to clear the way for Joaquin Lavin, a historical leader of the sector well positioned in the polls. EFE


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