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Chile Update ‘I look at the new constitution process with great hope’

The Chile Left's presidential candidate Gabriel Boric spoke at the second anniversary of the ‘largest march’ in the country’s recent history reiterating his commitment to profound political change. Report by EL SIGLO

THE presidential candidate for left coalition Apruebo Dignidad (Approve Dignity), Gabriel Boric, uses a metaphor to restate “[the left’s] commitment to [the] process of change, because life in society is a bit like a bicycle, in the sense that when you stop moving forward you have more and more instability, and we want to ensure stability.” 

He added: “Moving forward with secure transformations, combating inequalities and also the fears that our people have. Greater security for the citizens of our country, combating drug trafficking, greater decentralisation, ensuring that decisions are taken locally.”

Boric spoke at an event celebrating the second anniversary of “the largest march in Chile” that mobilised hundreds of thousands of people to demand transformations in the country and an end to abuse and inequality.

“Today we are two years on from what was the largest march in Chile, peaceful, multitudinous, diverse and representing the best of the spirit of change that we embody today in this political project,” Boric said.

“It is also one year since the plebiscite that opened the doors to an unprecedented, democratic, parity-based process of drawing the new constitution with the participation of independent delegates – that the rest of the world is watching closely – and that we are building with great hope,” he added.

Boric affirmed that “what we are commemorating today is the hope of building a fairer, more dignified Chile, where the differences are not based on the amount of money each person has. We hope [when elected] to be a government that collaborates with the constituent process, pushes it forward and facilitates it.”

Commenting on the signals given by certain polls, he pointed out that “in the face of the rise of those who want to go backwards, of the forces of Rechazo/rejection, we tell them that it is legitimate [to have opinions], but the alternative of change is the one we are going to defend and we are not going to be moved.”

Referring to the current election campaign, Boric said: “We have to make a greater effort. I am not going to ignore the fact that there is a growth in the sectors that were for the Rechazo/rejection and therefore all of those who listen to us, we all have to make more of an effort, we have to go out onto the streets, we have to define our proposals better, we have to communicate better. We can’t blame — like a bad worker — our tools.”

Speaking of the policy proposals of Apruebo Dignidad, he insisted that he would seek justice in health, that there should not be one healthcare for the poor and another for the rich. “All these slogans on banners are the ones that give meaning to our candidacy today and for which we will continue to fight until the end,” he said.

Boric also commented on the work of the Constitutional Convention and the continuing distortions that the right is intending to poison this process with.

“When we step back and look at the constituent process, I think we will see how it has managed to move forward despite all the obstacles that have been put in its way. This is a government that did not want this process, but it goes on in spite of Sebastian Pinera and Co,” Boric said, adding: “The fact that the regulations have been finalised, that the discussion of the constitutional rules has already begun, seems to me to be great news and I look with great hope at what will happen to distribute the power and wealth produced in Chile in a fairer way.”

On the notorious case of one member of the [right-wing] UDI (Independent Democratic Union) who said that the Convention wanted to change the name and the flag of Chile, the presidential candidate said: “The amount of absurdities that they invent to try to discredit the work of the Convention has reached levels that are downright ridiculous.”

“These inventions, I believe, only reinforce the campaigns of terror in which the sectors of the right and the spokespersons of the government, who have also become the campaign spokespersons of [the right-wing presidential candidates] Jose Antonio Kast and Sebastian Sichel, have been engaged for a long time,” Boric said.

This article first appeared on October 25 in El Siglo, the newspaper of the Chilean Communist Party.

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