Santiago, Chile, Dec 20, 2021 / 12:00 pm (CNA).
José Antonio Kast, a lawyer and pro-life Catholic politician, conceded defeat Dec. 19 to leftist candidate Gabriel Boric, a proponent of elective abortion, in Chile’s runoff presidential election.
“I just spoke with Gabriel Boric and congratulated him on his great victory. As of today he is the President-elect of Chile and deserves all our respect and constructive collaboration. Chile is always first,” Kast, of the Christian Social Front, wrote on Twitter.
With 98.76% of the votes counted, Boric led with 55.85% compared to 44.15% for Kast, a difference of almost 11 points.
During his campaign, Kast, 55, proposed different strategies to protect life from conception to natural death, to reinforce the preferential right of parents to educate their children, and to recognize the culture and identity of indigenous people.
In his campaign, Boric, of the Apruebo Dignidad alliance, promised to incorporate a comprehensive feminist perspective, to implement such policies as “legal, free and safe abortion on demand,” and changes to the gender identity law.
Boric is 35 years old, the minimum age to run for president. He is single and studied law at the University of Chile, but did not receive a degree.
As president of the Student Center of the Faculty of Law, he led the takeover of one of the university buildings to demand the departure of the dean at that time.
In 2011, he became spokesman for the Chilean Student Confederation during student protests in which thousands of young people took to the streets demanding educational reforms.
Boric is in his second term as a representative in the Chamber of Deputies and during the civil unrest of 2019 he signed the “Agreement for Peace” to accept the demands of citizens regarding the lack of public policies for a more decent life, which led to the Constitutional Convention now working on a new constitution.
Before the presidential election, the Standing Committee of the Chilean Bishops’ Conference issued a statement Dec. 16 offering their prayers for whomever would be the next president, calling on him to “govern for all Chileans, seeking paths of dialogue, agreement, justice and fraternity.”
The Standing Committee called on both candidates to “honor democratic values, accept the decision of the citizens and to work together from their place, to build a political community whose soul is social charity.”
“As Christmas approaches, we invite you to pray for the unity of our country, contemplating God with us who assumes our human condition so we may live as brothers. May the song that resounds these days: ‘Glory to God in heaven and on earth peace to the men loved by Him’ encourage us in the challenge of being peacemakers” the Standing Committee concluded.
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.