NATIONAL POLITICS Presidential Elections

Who is Yasna Provoste, the Christian Democrat presidential candidate?

Yasna Provoste announced her presidential candidacy today. Her campaign is supported by her party, the Christian Democratic Party. Following is a quick rundown on the former PE teacher turned Senate president and now presidential candidate.

Yasna Provoste, a member of the Christian Democratic Party since she was 14, a former physical education teacher, and current president of the Senate, is now running for president of Chile.

Provoste announced her candidacy this morning, in her hometown, Vallenar. She said, “I accept this challenge because I believe those of us who want real transformations for Chile are more than those who just scream and think violence can fix hardship in our country.” 

Beginnings

Daughter of Carlos Provoste and Nelly de los Santos Campillay, of Diaguita ancestry, Provoste was always good at sports. At age seven, she was a gymnastics national champion. For artistics gymnastics, she was also pre-selected for the Panamerican Games in Caracas in 1983.

She often talks about her public education. She attended Nº2 School of Vallenar and Liceo San Francisco, in Huasco. She then started her college education in Playa Ancha University (UPLA). She also has a master’s degree in educational administration from UPLA, and a graduate degree in decentralization and local government from Javeriana de Colombia University.

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Politics

She entered politics at a young age. By 14, she was already a member of the Christian Democratic Party, and president of Liceo San Francisco’s Student Union.

Her first government position was as Huasco’s Regional Governor, chosen by President Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle. She was chosen again for the same position by President Ricardo Lagos, who afterwards named her Regional Supervisor for Atacama.

 Provoste was also part of the Lagos administration of the Planning Ministry, where she kept her position until the end of the term in 2006. That same year, under Michelle Bachelet’s government, she became Education Minister. 

Constitutional accusation, removal, and return

In 2008, after a Constitutional Accusation was filed against her and accepted as part of the “Subsidy Case,” in which a report by the Government Accountability Office showed indeterminate spending of US$600 million by the Ministry between 2004 and 2008, she was removed from office and banned from all public positions for five years.

She then lived in Canada from 2009 until 2010, when she was elected regional president for the Christian Democratic Party in Atacama. In 2013, she was elected congresswoman for Atacama, and in 2017 she was elected senator for Atacama. In March of 2021, she was elected president of the Senate, her current position.

Chile Vamos asks her to resign

A few minutes before Provoste announced her presidential candidacy, the Chile Vamos coalition put out a statement in which it asked her to resign the Senate’s presidency if she was entering the national presidency race.

The letter, signed by the presidents of the coalition’s parties, Rodrigo Caramori (Independent Regionalist Party – PRI), Francisco Chahuán (National Renovation – RN), Andrés Molina (Evópoli), and Javier Macaya (Independent Democratic Union – UDI), said that, if she announced her candidacy, she should resign her position at the Senate “to protect the institutional role this position holds,” as reported by La Tercera.

Provoste joins the presidential race alongside Gabriel Boric (Social Convergence), Sebastián Sichel (Independent), José Antonio Kast (Republican), Carlos Maldonado (Radical Party), and Paula Narváez (Socialist Party, Party for Democracy). The election will be held on November 21.

 

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