Presidential Candidate Ossandón Accuses Frontrunner Piñera of Cowardice

On Sunday night in an interview with the TV channel 24horas, Manuel José Ossandón, accused frontrunner candidate Sebastián Piñera of dodging TV debates. Mr Ossandón charged that ‘those who represent the ex-president [Piñera]’ have rejected debates on either Chilevisión, TVN, or CNN Chile, which count among the most popular broadcasters.

Mr Ossandón challenges Mr Piñera for the support of the conservative Chile Vamos coalition, consisting of the RN, UDI, and the regionalist PRI parties. In the Sunday night interview Mr Ossandón suggested ‘they [the Piñera campaign] are afraid of these channels,’ insinuating Mr Piñera’s bid for returning to La Moneda is marked by cowardice.

The ex-president consistently figures as the leader of the pack, with a recent CADEM poll putting him at 24 percent (+2), his centre-left challenger, Alejandro Guillier, at 15 percent (-1), left-wing renegade Beatriz Sánchez at 8 percent (+2), and Mr Ossandón remaining steady at 4 percent.

Yet, headlines around corrupt practices involving insider information around Mr Piñera’s investments in Peruvian fisheries during the ruling of the International Court of Justice, as well as debates around the adequacy of his ‘blind trust’ seem to have hurt Mr Piñera. El Dinamo reports that Mr Ossandón’s image is 5 percent more positive (49%) than that of the frontrunner (44%). It remains to be seen, however, how much morals count in the voting booth.

Primaries to select the coalition candidates are scheduled for 2nd of July.