Yasna Provoste, the Christian Democratic president of the Chilean Senate, has won the Unidad Constituyente (UC, or Constituent Unity) primaries, held on Saturday. The Chilean presidential election is now essentially a four-horse race, representing the far left, far right, center left and center right. Yet what is likely to determine this election has less to do with the ideological spectrum than with which candidate manages to best reflect the country’s mood. As elsewhere, identity matters. In this sense, Provoste may present a real challenge to the other candidates.
To some degree all four candidates reject traditional party affiliations. Boric seeks to represent a new generation, unshackled by the fears of the past. Sichel hopes to prove that the right can transform and shift away from its Pinochetista origins, maintaining economic orthodoxy in a country that seeks greater social protection. Kast questions the right’s desire to modernize. And Provoste hopes that her personal story, as a woman of indigenous origins, who grew up in a small town in northern Chile far from the traditional elites, will best capture how Chileans see themselves. This is where the campaign will be fought.
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