With the highest voter turnout since the introduction of voluntary suffrage, Boric won more than 55% of the vote in the run-off against far-right José Antonio Kast

Leftist Gabriel Boric wins Chilean presidential election

photo_camera AFP/MARTIN BERNETTI - With almost 100 percent of the votes counted, 35-year-old Gabriel Boric became the youngest president in Chile's history, leading with 55.87 percent to his far-right rival José Antonio Kast's 44 percent

Gabriel Boric, candidate of the Apruebo Dignidad party, has won the second round of Chile's presidential elections, winning with almost 56% of the votes, with 99.96% of polling stations counted nationwide, according to the publication of the Electoral Service (Servel).

In the end, Boric won the election, comfortably ahead of José Antonio Kast, candidate of the Social Christian Front, who was left with 44.14%, far from the polls' estimate that predicted a difference of just one point between the two parties.

: Resultados de la 2ª vuelta de las elecciones presidenciales en Chile

"I am going to be the president of all Chileans. We have to understand that agreements have to be with the people and not just between four walls", said Gabriel Boric in a teleconference with Sebastián Piñera, who left his place in the presidency.

Faced with the evidence of the results, the candidate José Antonio Kast accepted his defeat and affirmed, through the social network Twitter, that he had already congratulated Gabriel Boric. "As of today he is the president-elect of Chile and deserves all our respect and constructive collaboration, Chile always comes first," he posted on his social networks.

First reactions

After the results were announced, several political leaders congratulated Boric on his election as president of Chile. Manuel Bulnes, great-great-grandson of the historic Chilean president of the same name, and one of the country's most powerful businessmen, said that "a Boric government, together with a constituent process, could be quite challenging for the investment and employment environment," according to El Mundo.

Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, president of Cuba, wrote his congratulations on social media: "Cordial congratulations on your election as president of Chile in a historic popular victory. We ratify the will to expand bilateral relations and cooperation between both peoples and governments," he tweeted.

The social network Twitter has also been the platform selected by the President of Colombia, Iván Duque, to express his support for the Chilean leader: "We express our interest in continuing to work together to strengthen the historic and fraternal bilateral relationship that unites us. We are brotherly countries", he posted.

El presidente electo de Chile, Gabriel Boric, pronuncia un discurso en el escenario mientras celebra con sus partidarios tras ganar las elecciones presidenciales en Santiago, Chile, 19 de diciembre de 2021

Among other organisations, Luis Almagro, head of the Organisation of American States (OAS), thanked "the Chilean people for the day of democratic expression", and addressed Boric specifically: "I am sure that with your leadership we will move forward together on issues of democracy, human rights, security and sustainable development".

El presidente electo de Chile, Gabriel Boric (2º izq.), celebra junto a su madre, María Soledad Font (izq.), y su padre, Luis Javier Boric (c), y otros familiares, tras los resultados oficiales de la segunda vuelta de las elecciones presidenciales, en Santiago, el 19 de diciembre de 2021
Record turnout levels

The close polls caused Gabriel Boric and José Antonio Kast to turn their discourse from the first round to more moderate aspects in order to attract the votes that in the first round they had collected from other candidates.

The elections registered a 55% turnout, the highest percentage since voting in Chile became voluntary in 2012. Boric received more than 4.6 million votes out of the more than 8.3 million voters who went to the polls, making him the highest-voted president in Chilean history.

Los partidarios del presidente electo de Chile, Gabriel Boric, celebran tras los resultados oficiales de la segunda vuelta de las elecciones presidenciales, en Santiago, el 19 de diciembre de 2021 AFP/MAURO PIMENTEL
Change in Chilean politics

As a result of the elections in Chile, Gabriel Boric, the party leader of a left-wing coalition, will become president of Chile on 11 March 2022. After this process, the candidate, who is only 35 years old, the minimum age to become president, will take office as the youngest president in Chilean history, and will do so as the leader of the most left-wing party since that of Salvador Allende in the 1970s.

The results in favour of Boric mobilised thousands of people to celebrate the victory of the Apruebo Dignidad party. After four years of centre-right, Piñera will cede his place to the left, supported by Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Caracas and other capitals in the region.

Latin America Coordinator: José Antonio Sierra