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Leftist Coalition in Chile Refuses to Endorse Progressive Candidate Guillier

By: Karina Martín - Dec 1, 2017, 4:19 pm
(Flickr)
The coalition is made up of 14 political parties and social movements pushing leftist policies supported by around one third of the country. Though Guillier did not receive its endorsement, the coalition also reiterated that Piñera would be “a setback for Chile.” (Flickr)

Español Chile’s left-wing coalition, Frente Amplio, has announced it will not be endorsing Alejandro Guillier, the presidential candidate running against former President and conservative candidate Sebastián Piñera.

The coalition is made up of 14 political parties and social movements pushing leftist policies supported by around one third of the country. Though Guillier did not receive its endorsement, the coalition also reiterated that Piñera would be “a setback for Chile.”

“Each of our voters must reflect and express themselves in the polls in the second round regarding their own convictions and analysis,” the coalition’s official statement said.

It went on: “There is no room for negotiation here, we do not look for quotas in the government, so we do not require our members to support the government.”

Chilean daily La Tercera reported that the decision comes in response to the “ambiguity” Guillier’s positions, which some critics have said are not sufficiently fleshed out.

“Citizens need greater clarity of the New Majority on whether the AFP (Chile’s private pension system) will be eliminated, if quality education will be ensured without debt or profit, if a true democracy will prevail in the country with respect to the Constituent Assembly and Tax Justice” the statement said.

The news has been called a resounding political failure on the part of Guillier, as Frente Amplio may have tipped the scales in his favor on December 17. The coalition earned 20 percent of votes in the first round, and taking those away from Piñera — who won the first round with more than 36 percent and has made a hard push to win undecided, centrist voters — could have made the difference.

Guillier, who earned 22 percent of the vote, has already received explicit support from former progressive candidate Marco Enríquez-Ominami, who obtained 5.7 percent of votes. Leftist Alejandro Navarro, who won 0.3 percent, and center-left candidate Carolina Goic, who got 5.8 percent, also endorsed Guillier.

The latest survey by the Criteria Research consultancy, which has a margin of error of 2.5 percent, placed Piñera (with 47 percent) two points above Guiller (at 45 percent) — a similar conclusion to that of a Cadem survey.

There are no gray areas in Politics. Either you endorse a candidate or you don’t. 

Frente Amplio chose not to endorse. 

We have taken a different path, because we believe that @sebastianpinera would be a much better leader than @guillier. No negotiations, no conditions. Chile comes first. 

Karina Martín Karina Martín

Karina Martín is a Venezuelan reporter with the PanAm Post based in Valencia. She holds a bachelor's degree in Modern Languages from the Arturo Michelena University.