A US-based economist who was an unexpected arbiter of the presidential election

He campaigned from the United States, his presence was only digital and he did not vote – not for himself or for anyone else. However, Franco Paris, 54, has attracted as many Chileans as any party in power since the 1990s: with almost 13% of the vote, he came in third. The unexpected decision to turn a candidate who did not make it to the second round on December 19 into a key figure.

Analysis. Presidential election in Chile: The far-right candidate who won the first round

A life between Chile and the United States

A graduate of the University of Chile, who held various positions as a shadow adviser after the restoration of democracy in the 1990s, Franco Parisi became known to the general public twenty years later as the one who popularized economic issues in the media. He entered politics during the 2013 presidential election, attacking the Chilean elite and criticizing the country’s leaders. A candidate who did not have a well-defined program, but it allowed him to cross the 10% bar for the first time.

He continued his life between Chile and South America, where he was educated and married. For sixteen years shifting to the center left of Michelle Bachelet and to the center right of Sebastian Pinera, Franco Parisi used Chile’s dissatisfaction with his political class to advance his troops. In Chile, the term of office of a president is limited to two, and the outgoing president cannot run for a second term.

The rejection of the political class is at the heart of the 2019 uprising

During this election, the rejection of the political class, already at the center of the anti-social movement at the end of 2019, puts him in the role of arbitrator: what will he do with his votes? At present, Franco Paris does not provide voting instructions. Culturally, it belongs to the right universe. Geographically, he scored well in areas such as the Jose Antonio Cast conquest of the Antofagasta (northern part of the country) mine area. Areas affected by severe dissatisfaction associated with immigration, especially Colombia and Venezuela.

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Report. The presidential election in Chile is in good shape

But it is not certain that this troublemaker, who is reluctant to follow the traditional rules of the political game, is giving voting advice. He wants to be in the dark. His presence in the United States is not very clear: did he campaign remotely because of Govt, or was he cold on multiple files (alimony, etc.) because of concerns about Chile justice? Nevertheless: the economist is now, in fact, a leading political actor. His party did worse than expected from opinion polls, which saw them at gaining about a third of the seats.

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