SANTIAGO — Frente Amplio, a left-wing political coalition, decided not to join forces with other parties ahead of the municipal elections. It said the decision was due to its “differences with the conservative and neoliberal sectors of the country present in sectors of the former New Majority.” Many congresspersons from the opposition sector disagreed with the decision.
Left-wing political coalition Frente Amplio (FA) includes left-wing movements and parties such as the Democratic Revolution (RD) and the Liberal Party. Usually for elections, FA joins forces with parties from the former New Majority, like the Christian Democracy (DC) and the Socialist Party (PS). This time, however, FA announced on Sept. 27 that it would not be part of a “sole national pact.”
After the Unit For Change coalition, made up of the Communist Party (PC), the Social Green Regionalist Federation, and the Progressive Party, called for unity among the opposition parties, another major left-wing conglomerate, Progressive Convergence, made up of the Party For Democracy, the Radical Party, and the Socialist Party, invited FA to ally with them to beat the right-wing sectors in the 2021 elections.
FA rejected the offer. In a statement, the coalition said the main reason was that a single pact with the former New Majority would mean ignoring “our deep and legitimate differences.”
1. @elfrente_amplio nació y trabaja para construir mayorías que empujen el avance de los proyectos ciudadanos de cambio, que le permitan a nuestr-s vecin-s vivir tranquil-s y mejor, y le cierren la puerta a la Chilevamos y a la vieja política de la corrupción y el clientelismo pic.twitter.com/6pOyNkg1f7
— Catalina Pérez Diputada (@CatalinaPerezS) September 27, 2020
Despite discarding the possibility of joining forces for the 2021 primary municipal elections, FA said that the coalition would continue to work with the rest of the opposition parties, “carrying out the necessary coordination to win against Chile Vamos.”
Reactions To FA’s Announcement
FA’s announcement caused many disagreements within the opposition sectors, as many members of the Unit for Change and the Progressive Convergence coalitions rejected it, arguing that the left-wing sectors should be united to win against the right.
Pablo Vidal, representative of the RD and member of FA, said that he disagrees with the decision. “What is at stake in the coming months is not the identity of our parties, but the future of Chile. People demand unity from us, which is built with citizen participation, not with negotiations behind closed doors.”
The councilor of La Florida and member of the PC also criticized the decision and said, “to those who claim to be so pure as to agree on primaries with parties with whom they have differences, I ask them to show that they have the votes in the districts to WIN. If not, what hope do they have in facing the right-wing sector?”
Fuad Chahín, president of the DC party, said that this decision would undermine the opposition’s chances to win the municipal elections. “They promised renewal but now repeat the worst practices from old politics.”
Fernanda Gándara is currently finishing her journalism degree at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She’s passionate about writing, environmental issues and women empowerment. You can find her on Twitter as @FerGMarchant