Kast and Boric: Explaining the Chilean Paradox

By Patricio Navia

Chile’s presidential runoff will now be a race to the middle, as most voters want change but not radicalism. Can either candidate deliver?

At first, it seems impossible to explain: Only a year after 80% of Chileans voted to draft a new constitution, and six months after they elected a clear left-wing majority to the convention charged with writing it, voters on Sunday gave a plurality in the first-round presidential election to José Antonio Kast, a morally conservative former legislator who opposes the new constitution and has downplayed human rights violations committed by the military dictatorship. With clear momentum on his side, Kast now has a real chance to be Chile’s next president in the runoff vote to be held...

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