Polling stations open in Chile for Sunday’s primary elections

SANTIAGO – More than 14 million Chileans are eligible to vote Sunday to choose in primary elections who will be the official candidates for the presidential elections of November 19 for two political alliances: Let”s Go Chile and Broad Front.

Three politicians are running for the ticket of the right wing Let’s Go Chile, former president (2010-2014) Sebastian Piñera, the favorite; Deputy Felipe Kast, and Senator Manuel José Ossandon.

For the center-left wing Broad Front two candidates are running, journalist Beatriz Sanchez and political analyst Alberto Mayol. The former is leading the poll.

Sunday is the date fixed in Chile for primaries which will decide the presidential candidates of the center-right and a faction of the center-left, precisely the day of the great final of the Confederations Cup in Russia.

The five pre-candidates in the Sunday primaries did not hide their worry about the imminent threat of abstention, even when the sale of alcoholic beverages is banned.

Anyway, already Chileans prepare their celebrations with barbecues and an unbridled buy of piscos, wines and beer to see the game of the final of the Confederations Cup in Russia between Chile and Germany.

The coincidence of soccer and politics is not good news, but there is a wide margin of time to vote.

A TV debate among the aspirants of the rightwing coalition Chile Vamos, left a bad flavor in the mouth and even one of its nearest followers, president of the Renovacion Nacional Party, Cristian Monckeberg, he described it as oblivion.

In any case, the favorites according to surveys are Beatriz Sanchez and Sebastian Piñera, in a day to be historic because it will open for the first time the doors to the voting of Chileans abroad.

The director general of Consular and Immigration Affairs of the foreign ministry, Carlos Appelgren, informed that due to difference in time, the first votes to open will be those emitted in Wellington, New Zealand.

The diplomat explained that 850 thousand Chileans are registered abroad, of which 340 thousand have the right to vote, for whom there were prepared voting centers in consulates and other dependencies.

This is to stop the exclusion that existed for years denounced by thousands of Chilean political exiles, forced to remain abroad as a consequence of the bloody coup’d’etat of Augusto Pinochet in 1973.