Latin American Weekly Report

22/07/2021 - Chile’s presidential frontrunners knocked out of race before it gets going

Chile’s presidential race took an intriguing turn on 18 July. A highly anticipated and deeply polarising presidential contest between Daniel Jadue, the candidate of the radical left-wing Partido Comunista de Chile (PCCh), and Joaquín Lavín, the candidate of the conservative Unión Demócrata Independiente (UDI), will not take place on 21 November. This is because neither of the two frontrunners in the polls will even feature in the contest after being defeated in primary elections. Instead, despite the political volatility and instability that has prevailed in Chile ever since October 2019 when social protests erupted, November’s presidential elections will pit two more moderate and conciliatory candidates against one another. There is still time for other candidates to emerge but at present these elections look like a battle for the centre ground rather than between the poles.

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