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Chile Presidential Elections – Leading Candidates Platforms

Election season has now started in Chile. The first debates were held last week, and the candidates recently released their platforms. If no candidate receives at least 50% of the votes in the first round of voting on November 21, the two leading candidates will compete in a runoff on December 19.

Below we have provided an overview of the two leading presidential contenders that are expected to come out of the legal primaries – Joaquin Lavin and Daniel Jadue. Within our summary, we have included a brief overview of each candidate and then some details of their platform. It is still very early in the election process so much could change before November.

Joaquín Lavin:

Joaquín Lavin is running for president for the third time. He has served as the mayor of Las Condes on multiple occasions and mayor of a downtown Santiago district for one term. He has also served as education minister and as minister of social development under Piñera.


  • Minimum salary of CLP$500,000 for all Chileans. He will subside the minimum salary for small to medium size businesses to reach said amount and thus have equal pay between the different sizes of companies in Chile. He also plans a universal basic income for woman who are responsible for taking care of children and older adults in the home.
  • In order to recover jobs lost during the pandemic, Lavin will promote an infrastructure plan. He will also promote entrepreneurship, trying to ensure that at least one member per family is an entrepreneur. Lastly, he will create a subsidy that encourages employees to return to work.
  • Increase the resources of regional governments and municipalities since there is currently inequality between the different communities. He wants the per capita income of each municipality of Chile to be the same. The objective is to increase funding so that 70% comes from the federal government and 30% by local governments. Today this funding split is 90% and 10% respectively.
  • Supports a more inclusive government that represents the Chilean population. He would like his government to have 50% gender equity between women and men. In addition, 50% of his government will come from Santiago and the other half coming from other regions of the country. Lastly, 1/3 will come from public schools, 1/3 from subsidized private schools, and 1/3 paid from private schools.
  • In terms of the pensions, he does not want to appropriate, nationalize or expropriate funds that currently sit with the private fund managers (AFP). Instead, he prefers to increase pensions for people over 80 years to CLP$250,000. In addition, he will create a minimum pension amount of CLP$177,000 for all Chileans that will be complemented with their workers savings.
  • Supports allowing parents to choose the school where they want to send their kids. He supports providing technical training for free at technical and professional institutes. Lastly, he supports providing an option for students with university loans to work for the government in vulnerable communities and regions as credit towards their loans.
  • In terms of healthcare, he wants universal access to health insurance without discrimination by sex, age or pre-existent conditions. He supports the option that individuals can freely choose between public and private insurers. He will Transform Fonasa, the current public option, into an insurer with capacity to negotiate and manage itself.
  • Lavin support exporting green energy, supports global decarbonization, encourages the development of the green hydrogen industry in Chile, and wants to accelerate the adoption of a residential heating alternative to firewood.

Daniel Jadue:

Daniel Jadue worked as an architect and urban planner before turning to politics. He has been a member of Chile’s Communist Party since 1993. In 2012, he was elected mayor of Recoleta where he received praise for creating “popular pharmacies,” in which municipalities purchase drugs and sell them at low cost.


  • In terms of pensions, he proposes major overalls by creating a public system managed by the government. It will be the decision of each individual to keep their savings within the current pension system, withdraw it, or transfer it to another savings fund but the current private fund managers will not be able to collect more funds after the system is implemented.  His goal is to increase pensions for all Chileans to that it reaches at least 75% of the minimum salary, remove the gender disparity between woman and men, and changes to the way the monthly pensions amounts are calculated.
  • End to the government student loans (CAE), cancel all current student debt, likewise, he proposes an end to for-profit education, expanding technical and higher education so that it is 100% free for all.
  • Create a minimum salary within a period of four years for all Chileans that amounts to CLP$576,000 per month, distributing 30% of the profits of the companies to their workers, collective bargaining for 100% of workers (today it is around 10%), modify the labor code to reduce working day from 45 to 40 hours per week with the eventual goal of a 36 hour work week.
  • In terms of taxation, he wants a structural reform to the tax system. He proposes additional taxes on income, the super-rich, inheritances, and mining royalties on natural resources. He will also eliminate tax exemptions for capital gains on securities instruments, among other exemptions. Lastly, he wants to crack down on tax evasion by having better controls and management put in place.
  • Specifically, about the mining royalty, he wants to Introduce higher royalties for the mining industry. The royalty will have a progressive structure with an effective rate of around 10% in terms of long-term price levels. Incentives will be introduced to promote refining copper in Chile (more value add) and reversing the growing tendency to sell the mineral in the form of concentrates.

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