El nuevo presidente de Chile, el General Pinochet y la derecha política

Luego de una reñida contienda electoral, Chile tiene un nuevo presidente. El domingo, Ricardo Lagos, el lider socialista, derrotó a su contendiente conservador, Joaquín Lavín, por 190.000 votos, el margen más pequeño registrado en una elección presidencial desde el retorno de Chile a la democracia.

En las cinco semanas que antecedieron a la segunda vuelta, Lagos llevó adelante una campaña extraordinariamente efectiva. Impresionado por el éxito de Lavín en la primera vuelta, Lagos se vio obligado a repensar su estrategia. Un discurso más bien intelectual fue sustituído por exhortaciones sencillas y directas al electorado y, rodéandose de un grupo de tecnócratas jóvenes, imprimió a la campaña una necesaria modernidad. Los nuevos integrantes de su equipo se apresuraron a distanciarse de algunos de los elementos más polémicos y controvertidos del programa, como la propuesta legislación que otorgaría un poder considerablemente mayor a los sindicatos, comprometiendo la capacidad del país para competir internacionalmente, al tiempo que reducía su potencial de crecimiento.

Lo sorprendente no es el triunfo de Lagos -después de todo, siempre fue el favorito- sino que Lavín haya podido llegar a plantearle tamaño desafío. Por primera vez desde los años treinta, la derecha chilena surgió como opción política seria. Lavín obtuvo un extraordinario 48,7% de los votos presentándose en la campaña como un político eficiente, preocupado por la solución de los problemas, sin influencias ideológicas y apartado de las querellas políticas menores del pasado. Gradualmente, su campaña fue captando la atención de un número creciente de chilenos, especialmente de las mujeres y los jóvenes.

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