Good or bad? Gabriel Boric’s First Month As Chilean president

The current president of Chile has had to deal with the extremely high expectations placed on his government, which translates into 31 days of lights and shadows. This has been the first month of Gabriel Boric .

Gabriel Boric

Photo: TW-gabrielboric

LatinAmerican Post | Nicolás Donoso Álvarez

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Leer en español: Good or bad? Gabriel Boric’s first month as Chilean president

When Gabriel Boric took office as the new president of Chile on March 11, the millions of people who voted for him placed their hopes in a president who broke many records. He was the president-elect with the highest number of votes in the history of the country and also became the youngest president to be elected (he won the elections at the age of 35 and took office at the age of 36). And as if that were not enough, the former deputy broke into politics with the student mobilizations of more than a decade ago.

Now as president, the panorama is already different, and Boric has had to take charge of matters such as the economy, social security, and the handling of the pandemic together with his work team. Without neglecting the international agenda, where he already had his first foreign tour in Argentina, where he met with President Alberto Fernández.


The signing of the Escazú Agreement, its main success

Undoubtedly, one of the points in favor of Boric was that weeks after taking office and in the midst of the environmental agenda that has been paramount for the former deputy, he announced that he would sign the presidential message to join Chile to the Escazú Agreement (Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean ), a treaty that is the only one in environmental matters in Latin America and that seeks to benefit, among many things, to the ecosystem and guarantees the protection of activists for environmental rights.

Also read: With Pedro Castillo and the Congress of enemies, the crisis in Peru worsens

With this signature, Boric fulfilled his word and his campaign commitment, and is in line with what he has declared on more than one occasion, where he has indicated that "From Latin America and the Caribbean we are speaking to the world, you, fighters for the environment, fighters for life, they have taught us to persevere".

On the other hand, the new government has received good comments from the economic sector, where initially there was a lot of uncertainty. The reforms that are made regarding pensions should be moderate for specialists, added to the fact that Gabriel Boric appointed the now former president of the Central Bank of Chile, Mario Marcel, as the new Minister of Finance

Changes of speeches and the Constitutional Convention, its critical points

One of the main criticisms leveled at the recently elected president was his change of stance in certain situations. One of them was his position against a new (fifth) withdrawal of pension funds by workers to combat the economic crisis. It should be remembered that when he was a deputy, Boric was in favor of this measure on more than one occasion, and in fact last December he indicated that he was in favor of the fourth withdrawal, even though he was aware that it is "a policy that undoubtedly it harms people's pensions, and that cannot be hidden".

That has meant criticism from the opposition, but also from his sector . The deputy of the Humanist Party and one of the pioneers of the withdrawal of pension funds since the first became effective, harshly criticized Boric for his change of opinion. "Suddenly, something he believed in on December 3 (he voted in favor of the fourth withdrawal when he was a deputy), before the Second Round, two and a half months later he changes his mind and people are shocked and disappointed tremendously."

Another aspect that should have you worried is the latest polls. According to the latest survey by Plaza Pública Cadem, revealed on April 4, 45% of the people surveyed said they were in favor of his management in these first weeks, while 35% indicated that they disapproved. This makes him the worst evaluated president since 2014. 

Likewise, the Constitutional Convention is also in the eye of the hurricane, and it is that according to the same Plaza Pública Cadem survey, for the first time the rejection option would be above approval, with 46% versus 40% . For Boric, this panorama is negative, since as a parliamentarian he opted for the approval of the drafting of a new Constitution, and as president he requires that the drafting of the new Magna Carta be accepted by the citizenry.

The decisive moment will come on September 4, when millions of people must vote in the exit ratification plebiscite, which will determine if Chileans accept the proposal for the new Constitution that has been drafted in recent months, or if they opt for maintaining the current Constitution that has been in force since 1980. In that event, for better or for worse, the government of Gabriel Boric has a lot at stake.

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