By Ross Brown / The Santiago Times Staff
SANTIAGO — Senator Carolina Goic, the leader of centre-left Christian Democratic Party, will run for Chile president in November elections.
The 44-year-old lawmaker of Croatian heritage who represents the country’s southernmost region, Goic is generally center-left on economic issues and center-right to conservative on social issues.
After his nomination was announced at a party gathering in Santiago on Saturday, Goic said that as
Chile’s president she would work to overcome some of the country’s pressing challenges, including pension reform and a further strengthening of the decentralization process to reduce regional inequality.
She has also called for delegating more political decision-making from the capital Santiago to the regions.
The senator, however, has not yet said if she will compete in the primaries of the broad ruling center-left New Majority coalition, whose members range from Christian Democrats to Communists.
Currently, former President Ricardo Lagos of the Party for Democracy and independent Sen. Alejandro Guillier of the Social Democrat Radical Party are proclaimed as candidates for the New Majority primaries.
The Socialist Party, to which current Chilean President Michelle Bachelet belongs, is to decide on its candidate later this month. Bachelet’s approval rating at just 23 percent; moreover, she is not eligible to run because consecutive presidential terms are constitutionally barred in Chile.
On the other hand, the candidates expected to compete for the nomination of the center-right Chile Let’s Go coalition include former President Sebastian Piñera, Sen. Jose Manuel Ossandon and lawmaker Felipe Kast, a member of the Political Evolution Party.
A local poll shows Piñera is the current leader in voter preference while Guillier is running second.
At least 20 other politicians from parties not affiliated with the two main coalitions also have announced their presidential candidacies.
It appears to be a tough competition on Nov 19 this year.