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Grandson of Palestine immigrant not elected as Chile's presidential hopeful

July 19, 2021 at 3:32 pm

Chile Communist presidential candidate Daniel Jadue leaves after votes during primary presidential elections on July 18, 2021 in Santiago, Chile [Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images]

Daniel Jadue, mayor of Recoleta in Chile’s capital Santiago and grandson of a Palestinian immigrant, yesterday lost in his bid to be a major contender in November’s presidential election.

Presidential primaries left 35-year-old leftist former student leader Gabriel Boric with 60 per cent of the vote pushing Jadue out of the running.

On the right, 43-year-old independent Sebastian Sichel, a former Cabinet minister and president of Chile’s Banco del Estado who sports a tattoo of a trout on his forearm and began the race as an underdog, bested conservative mayor and two-time presidential candidate Joaquin Lavin, taking 49 per cent of the vote in a four-way primary, Reuters reports.

Nearly 97 per cent of the vote had been counted by 9 pm (01.00 GMT).

The May vote for delegates to rewrite the constitution likewise bucked expectations, with a majority of seats going to independent candidates largely from the left, many from coalitions of social groups that emerged out of protests over inequality that exploded in 2019.

The turbulent time in Chile, the world’s top copper producer, has market watchers and industry on edge, as mining, environmental and social policies play out as key issues in both the presidential race and the constitutional convention.

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