A 35-year-old former student protest leader, Gabriel Boric, has been elected president of Chile in the South American country’s election on Sunday.
The leftist candidate, who, until recently, was organizing student protests across the country, marginally won the election and has become the country’s youngest ever leader.
In what was expected to be a tight race, the former protest leader defeated his far-right rival Antonio Kast by more than 10 points.
Official results gave Boric 56% of the votes against Kast’s 44%, with Kast conceding defeat barely an hour-and-a-half after polls closed, and with around half of ballots counted.
Boric’s major campaign manifesto was that he would look after democracy and curb Chile’s neo’liberal economic model.
He also promised to address inequality by expanding social rights and reforming Chile‘s pension and healthcare systems, as well as reducing the work week from 45 to 40 hours, and boosting green investment.
READ ALSO: Chilean Congress legalizes same-s3x marriage
He will now lead a country that has been rocked in recent years by mass protests against inequality and corruption.
In his acceptance speech, Boric said he was taking on the job with humility and a “tremendous sense of responsibility”, vowing to “firmly fight against the privileges of a few”.
“We have an enormous challenge. I know that in the coming years, the future of our country is at stake, so I guarantee that I will be a president who cares for democracy and does not risk it, listens more than speaks, seeks unity, and attends to the needs of the people daily,” he told supporters.
In a tweet, Mr Kast said he had called Mr Boric to congratulate him on his “great triumph”, adding: “From today he is the elected President of Chile and deserves all our respect and constructive collaboration.”
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