Chilean Communist Party Backs Guillier for Presidential Nomination

Guillier stands next to leaders of the Communist Party in Santiago during the official endorsement for his presidential candidacy/Photo: Facebook / Chile Communist Party
Chilean Communist Party Backs Guillier for Presidential Nomination

Alejandro Guillier has won the support of another leftist party, seeking to become Chile’s new president in 2018.

The Communist Party of Chile announced Sunday it will support Alejandro Guillier as its presidential candidate in the next elections scheduled for November 2017.

The announcement brings the 63-year-old politician one step closer to securing the spot as the governing New Majority coalition’s candidate to run in the Chilean presidential election. The coalition is expected to confirm its candidate in July.

Still, Guillier is the most popular of the remaining candidates from the left, with 23 percent of the vote, while Carolina Goic and Beatriz Sanchez both have 2 percent, according to a survey by Chilean pollster Adimark.

On the other side, the favorite candidate for the unified right is conservative former President Sebastian Piñera, who is ahead of all rivals with 27 percent of the vote.

Guillermo Teillier, the head of the Communist Party, vowed that Guillier’s supporters will collect more signatures than the ones needed for their candidate to make it to the first round of the election, confidently referring to the party’s preferred candidate as the “next president of the republic.”

The news comes after Chile’s Socialist Party and the Radical Party, both part of the New Majority coalition, also endorsed Guillier, causing the moderate leftist candidate Ricardo Lagos to drop out of the running for the governing alliance’s nomination.

Despite having the support of three political parties within the coalition, Guillier is actually not a member of any of them and will need to gather signatures to secure his candidacy. The Party for Democracy, another current within the New Majority, is expected to voice its support for Guillier in the next weeks.

The independent senator was also greeted by members of Chile’s Central Workers’ Confederation, known as the CUT, and told supporters at the party’s headquarters that they needed to continue promoting social reforms against a “conservative” right-wing political forces that want to return to a “society of privileges” only for the rich.

A former journalist, Guillier has had links to leftist Radical Party but was relatively unknown in Chilean politics and has turned his outsider status into an asset in the face of a disenchanted population and low voter turnout in the country.


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