Chile’s Socialist Parties Admit Defeat in Municipal Elections

Chileans have expressed their desire to change, a change to make Chile a better country (prensa latina)
Chileans have expressed their desire to change from socialist officer holders (prensa latina)

EspañolChile’s New Majority suffered a heavy defeat this weekend at the voting booths, while opposition Vamos Chile celebrated an 18-percent increase in held offices compared to 2012.

The ruling party not only lost the most emblematic counties like Santiago, Providencia, Ñuñoa and Maipu, but also recorded a 16-percent decline in elected candidates.

The feeling of defeat was reflected in the Presidential building La Moneda as well as from the New Majority. President Michelle Bachelet closed the day with a call for unity.

“We’ve had weaknesses in some counties, and sometimes as a coalition we have shown more division than unity around issues that really matter to citizens,” said Bachelet.

The New Majority lost with Josefa Errázuriz in Providence, with Helia Molina in Ñuñoa, with Freddy Campusano in Maipu, with Leopoldo Méndez in the coastal city of Valparaiso and Claudina Nunez in Pedro Aguirre Cerda, among others.

Of 167 mayoral offices, it fell two points, obtained 140, and while it is true that it still remains above Chile Vamos, the former president Ricardo Lagos took the voice of defeat.

The triumphs of the New Majority in regional capitals were: Copiapó, La Serena, Concepción, Puerto Montt and Coyhaique.

Vice President of the New Majority Marco Antonio Nunez admitted that his party was the most “beaten” in the interior of the city.

“We are the party most beaten in the New Majority” he said.

“We must recognize that the New Majority, as a conglomerate, has suffered a strong defeat, and that forces you to have humility and self-criticism,” Ernesto Velasco of the Radical Party said. “The government must end their cognitive blindness, you have to look at reality and see it in terms of making appropriate changes.”

Moreover, the opposition bloc was shocked after winning in mayoral and council candidates from Chile Vamos.

The opposition gained 38.51 percent of the mayoral vote, compared to 37.08 percent of the pro-government representatives.

Regarding the New Majority, councilors still impose 47.21 percent against 39.72 percent obtained by the opposition. The other lists and covenants not represent a large percentage of the total.

Magellan Regionalism Party represented 0.01 percent; the Aysén Party 0 percent, with 108 votes, the Chile Wants Breadth Party came in at 0.80 percent, the Let’s Change History Party 0.41 percent, the United People Party 0.99 percent, the Green North Party 0.09 percent, the Democratic Alternative party 0.83 percent, the Unity Brings Democracy Party 0.02 percent, and the covenant Justice and Transparency party 0.31 percent.

“Chileans have expressed their desire for a change,” said former President Sebastian Pinera, an imminent presidential candidate for 2017.

Moreover, independent candidates also reflected a significant percentage, 316 mayoral candidates, representing 17.36 percent.

The surprise of the day was the victory of Jorge Sharp, candidate of the autonomist movement in Valparaiso. Sharp beat both the New Majority and Chile Vamos with 53.75 percent of the vote.

Sources: La Tercera; El Mostrador.

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