No honeymoon: sharp rise in disapproval of Gabriel Boric after only one month in office in Chile

No honeymoon: sharp rise in disapproval of Gabriel Boric after only one month in office in Chile

Santiago, Chile.- Disapproval of left-wing government Gabriel Boric has risen sharply just over a month after he took office in Chile amid high expectationshighlighted two surveys released yesterday.

Pollster Activa’s Pulse Citizen survey found that in the first half of April, Boric got a 51% rejectionup 10 points, as approval hit 27.8%, down 6.2 points from the previous survey.

Boric, 36, was elected in December in a historic vote against ultra-conservative candidate Jose Antonio Kast, backed by a broad left-wing coalition of communists, environmentalists and social democrats.

Boric during his visit to ArgentinaJUAN MABROMATA – AFP

The former student leader took office on March 11. During his first days in office, Boric had an approval rating of 46.5% according to this poll.

Cadem’s Plaza Pública poll, for its part, indicates that Boric’s disapproval rose nine points to 50%, while his support dropped four points to 40%.

Since the first week of government, disapproval of Boric has increased by 30%, according to Cadem.

Nail series of unforced errors which gradually undermined support for Boric and exposed the inexperience of members of his cabinet, in particular his interior minister, Izkia Siches.

Izkia Siches, Chilean Interior Minister
Izkia Siches, Chilean Interior MinisterCRISTOBAL ESCOBAR/AGENCIAUNO – Europa Press

Siches denounced that during the government of Sebastián Piñera, a plane that transported foreign citizens expelled from Chile ended up returning with all the crew to the country, but after being refused, he had to apologize. Its decision to designate the Mapuche territory as wall map a term that includes parts of Argentina.

With regard to the proposal again Constitution which is written in Chile, the Pulso Ciudadano survey indicated that 36.8% of those consulted would vote against, against 32.2% who would approve. Cadem showed similar preferences, with 45% leaning towards rejecting the new text versus 38% for “I agree”.

The convention is experiencing a noticeable drop in membership and receives questions after several polemics and discussion on certain articles. Magna Carta will go through a mandatory plebiscite on September 4.

In this context, Chilean deputies will decide today on two new plans for the partial withdrawal of savings for pensionsone presented by the legislators and the other surprisingly by the Boric government itself, which seeks to limit the extent of the discounts in the funds.

The day in plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies, which will begin in the afternoon and should be long, will test the government’s ability to negotiate and align its coalition members in Congress.

Despite the fact that the ruling party, including Boric, supported four partial withdrawal initiatives under the government of former right-wing president Sebastián Piñera, three of which were carried out, now he opposes the withdrawal alleging its effect on inflation and its respective effect on economic recovery.

Chilean President Gabriel Boric visits the Argentine Congress
Chilean President Gabriel Boric visits the Argentine Congress

Rodrigo Nespolo – THE NATION

Left-wing parliamentarians have encouraged these withdrawals from funds managed by the powerful pension fund administrators (AFP) to deal with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Chilean families.

The current initiative of the legislators aims that contributors can withdraw an additional 10% of their savings without conditions. The proposal was rejected on Tuesday by the Constitution Committee of the lower house, but it is a non-binding vote for consideration by all of the deputies.

The same day, the government intervened and presented its alternative project through the intermediary of the Minister of Finance, Mario Marcel, who, at the head of the Central Bank until last March, tenaciously opposed these measures. .

Executive initiative accounts for one-fifth of money from mass withdrawal and restricts access to resources for alimony payments, mortgage payments, and other debts that the government believes would not generate an inflationary effect.

“Of course, this is less damaging than a full pension withdrawal, but it increases disposable income and may have some impact on demand and inflation,” Bank of America said in a recent report.

Both projects will be voted on today. The parliamentary initiative needs 93 votes to be approved, while the executive draft only requires a simple majority.

The government recalls that the deal is now different to promote a broad and unconditional withdrawal of pension funds: the economy has managed to recover and the health crisis has faded. Boric, for his part, wants to promote a model of social protection and reform the pension system, for which he needs support in Congress.

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