President Bachelet: “We need unity among everyone who wants the changes needed for Chile to progress”
Speaking from the O´Higgins Room at La Moneda Palace, the President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, addressed the results of the elections held this Sunday.
“Today, we have had a great day for democracy. Once again, from every territory, every polling station, every voting table and every ballot, we have vindicated our republican tradition and civic coexistence,” said the President.
Referring to the upcoming electoral runoff between the two Presidential candidates, she said, “the voice of Chile has been heard. Although not all of the votes are in yet, the tendency is now clear: two candidates, each one with a different vision for the country, will have to dispute the runoff so that our fellow citizens can determine who will govern our country as of next March. This means that a new election will be held, the result of which is open and will depend on what our fellow citizens say on December 17.”
President Bachelet also highlighted the new conditions under which these elections were held, emphasizing that, “the changes that strengthen our democracy and give more power to the citizens, have become a reality. These are the first elections with a proportional system, that leaves behind the binomial system, allows for greater levels of competition, incorporates women more fairly thanks to the quota law, and that gives real prominence to the defining power of the vote. And these are also the first elections in which our fellow countrymen and women who live abroad have been able to vote.”
Along these lines, the President said that all of these changes were part of the commitment she undertook four years ago, noting that “the task at hand is challenging and requires more than one Government in order to complete and deepen the changes. This is the opportunity and what Chile requires today.”
President Bachelet sent a message “to the immense majority of Chilean men and women who have said today that they want the country to progress and to consolidate the changes that will lead to a better and fairer life for all. For those who want quality education without discrimination, for it to be a right; that want timely healthcare and to be treated fairly; who want a strong but sustainable economy; who demand decent pensions; that every region can determine its path to development; who want to be recognized, celebrating diversity and respect; a country where money is not the only road to opportunities and dignity; where every boy and girl, regardless of where they are born or their context, has the same opportunities to develop and grow.”
Likewise, she emphasized that “today we know that Chile wants to continue making progress. That is what the citizens are asking for, that is what the ballots have said. And we know that this is possible. But, in order to do this, we need unity among everyone who wants the changes needed for Chile to progress. Now is the time for generosity and unity around the true principles and values that we all share, around the history and achievements we have consolidated together, around our ideals for the future.”
The President also called on all citizens to be part of these runoff elections to be held on December 17. “There may be differences in the paths to be taken in making progress towards development, but all roads will be cut off if our democracy weakens because of lack of participation. I invite you all to come together with a renewed spirit for this new election that will define the next President of Chile.”
In conclusion, the President urged her ministers, undersecretaries, regional intendants, governors and regional ministerial secretaries (Seremis) “to conclude this Government stage by fulfilling the commitments we have promised” and ended by underlining that “we are going to work tirelessly until the last day of Government. We have weeks of intense work ahead of us in Congress in order to consolidate the changes that are underway. We will not slow down our work pace under any circumstance, and we need our senators and deputies to be also part of this challenge by initiating efforts for a new Constitution for Chile; to commit to ensuring the resources that will continue widening the path to free education, one of the greatest achievements our country has had in the last few decades; to continue making Chile a nation that is fairer, more solidary, more respectful and with more rights for all people, in every corner of our homeland.”