Alejandro Guillier officially entered as an independent candidate for the presidency of Chile, after the current ruling center-left coalition failed to choose a single candidate in July 2nd’s primaries.
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With hundreds of supporters behind him, Guillier presented 61,000 signatures to the Electoral Service, nearly twice what is required to formalize the candidacy.
“I am going to tell you that more than 61,000 Chileans entered the Electoral Service this afternoon to register this independent candidacy,” the journalist and sociologist turned politician said on a stage at the Servel gate in downtown Santiago.
Guillier is backed by six different pro-government parties, after having secured an important endorsement by Chile’s Communist Party in May.
The 63-year-old Guillier is a former journalist and sociologist, with previous links to Chile’s Radical Party. Although he is supported by several leftist parties within the coalition, he is not a member of any of them and so has been required to collect signatures for his candidacy.
Guiller, who has placed the fight against corruption at the center of his campaign, took a jab at right-wing candidate and billionaire Sebastian Piñera, who currently enjoys a lead in the polls. An investigation against Piñera for "incompatible negotiation" regarding his business investments was dismissed on Thursday.
“We rule for the people, not to do business,” Guillier said.
Chileans will vote on November 19th, when if no candidate takes a majority, a second round of votes will occur on December 17th. The winning candidate will succeed Bachelet in March 2018.