The Challenges Of Gabriel Boric As President Of Chile

The former deputy and new president of Chile will take office on March 11 amid various challenges and with great expectations on the part of his voters. These are the challenges for Gabriel Boric now that he begins his mandate .

Portrait of Gabriel Boric giving his victory speech in 2021

Photo: Fotografoencampana

LatinAmerican Post | Nicolás Donoso

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Leer en español: Los retos de Gabriel Boric como presidente de Chile

In Chile, there is a breath of change and renewal. This March 11, the current president, Sebastián Piñera, will end his term to give the position to the 36-year-old, Gabriel Boric. He is part of the new generation of politicians who broke into politics more than a decade ago with the student mobilizations that precisely occurred in Piñera's first term.

The Social Convergence militant arrived at the Palacio de la Moneda against all odds. Not only will he be the youngest president to lead Chile throughout its history, but he will also break with the hegemony of the center-left and center-right governments, which have governed Chile since the return to democracy until now. But for Gabriel Boric there is not much time to celebrate. The fact is that the graduate of legal and social sciences will have multiple challenges. Also, he will face very high expectations on the part of the citizens, and during the drafting of the new Constitution, the coronavirus pandemic and economic uncertainty.

We recommend you read: The Reasons Why Gabriel Boric Won In Chile

The New Constitution Runs Against Time

In October 2019, Chile experienced a social explosion that put the Chilean political system in check, generated reflections, and in turn changed. Perhaps the most significant transformation was that this movement led to a plebiscite that ended with the drafting of a new Constitution whose main mission is to replace the Magna Carta that has been in force since 1980 and that was written in the military dictatorship (although it has undergone modifications). 

The main problem with the Constitutional Convention – the body that is drafting the new Constitution – is that in the controversies, divisions, extremism, and difficulties in successfully communicating their task, they have a few more months to finish presenting the official proposal. Now, according to Cadem, one of the most widely used surveys in Chile, 55% do not believe that the conventions will complete their work on the established date, while 57% would be in favor of extending the term.

For the process to continue on its course, it will be vital that Gabriel Boric has a positive start as the new president and is capable of transmitting the necessary confidence in the face of the possible exit ratification plebiscite, where Chileans will have to decide whether to approve the new text constitutional or whether to maintain the Constitution made during the military dictatorship. It is necessary to remember that Boric was key in the remembered Agreement for Social Peace and the New Constitution, a resolution that practically meant that today Chile is on this path.

Boric Distances Himself From The "Extreme Left"

To become the president of Chile, Gabriel Boric participated in the Approve Dignity Pact, a coalition that brought together the Broad Front and the Communist Party, leaving behind a center-left that governed the country for more than 20 years. However, faced with the onslaught of far-right candidate José Antonio Kast, Boric had to leave his bubble and summon different political parties from the left.

At the time, many Kast supporters criticized him for allying with the communist party. There were even those who expressed distrust regarding an eventual Boric government due to the protagonism that the PC could achieve. However, the former deputy has distanced himself from the Communist Party, for example, about his negative opinion regarding other countries that the PC supports.

Concerning the Nicolás Maduro regime, Boric recently said that "Venezuela is an experience that failed and the main demonstration is the six million Venezuelans in the diaspora." That could bring him problems in his government if the Communist Party begins to worry about these statements and more than one friction could be generated.

A Feminist Government

That 14 of the 24 ministries are occupied by women, that the Ministry of Women and Gender Equity enter the political committee and that the doctor Izkia Siches is the first woman to hold the position of Minister of the Interior, are clear signs of where it is heading Gabriel Boric in his government: a feminist mandate and where women have a leading role. "I want to ask, in particular men, that we take it (feminism) seriously, that this is not a banality, a postmodern response to identity demands, but that we are talking about a commitment that is at the base of our government”, declared Gabriel Boric during this week.

That said, Gabriel Boric will have to work from day one in a government that has a gender perspective, believes in profound transformations and that, in addition to betting on more women in positions of power, manages to condemn and work on reducing violence against women. And it is that according to worrying figures provided by the Ministry of Women and Gender Equity, so far this year there have been eight femicides and 24 frustrated femicides; strong numbers that mean a challenge for a president who promises a feminist government.

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