Gabriel Boric, a former student activist, elected Chile’s youngest president – BoilingNews


“This has been a campaign dominated by fear, to an extent we have never seen before,” said Claudia Heiss, professor of political science at the University of Chile. “It can do harm in the long run because it degrades the political climate.”

Sir. Boric and Mr. Kast each found traction in voters who had grown tired of the center-left and center-right political factions that have traded with power in Chile in recent decades. The Conservative incumbent, Sebastián Piñera, has seen his approval ratings drop to below 20 percent over the past two years.

Sir. Boric got his start in politics as a prominent organizer of the major student demonstrations in 2011 that persuaded the government to provide low-income students with tuition-free education. He was first elected to Congress in 2014.

Boric, who is based in Punta Arenas, Chile’s southernmost province, said he took bold steps to slow global warming to a core promise in his campaign. This included a politically risky proposal to raise fuel taxes.

Mr. Boric, who has tattoos and does not like to wear a tie, is a departure from the form of traditional presidential candidates. He has also spoken publicly about being diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, a condition for which he was briefly admitted in 2018.

In the wake of the sometimes violent street protests and political unrest set in motion by a rise in metro prices in October 2019, he promised to turn a series of complaints, which had been built up over generations, into a revision of public policy. Mr. Boric said it was necessary to raise taxes on businesses and the ultra-rich in order to expand the social safety net and create a more equal society.