Science, environment and education focus on Chile’s presidential debate

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Increased investment in science, education, culture and combating climate change were the proposals of five Chilean presidential candidates who participated in a debate organized by the University of Chile, not attended by far-right Jose Antonio Caste.

Left-wing lawmaker and candidate Gabriel Borek, 35, the favorite to win the November 21 election, said he would eventually invest in his government 1% of Chile’s gross domestic product — which amounted to $221,346 million in 2020 — in innovation and technology. And the promotion of a scientific system “with gender equality”.

On climate change, Borek will set up transition committees so that polluters can advance to other sustainable, environmentally friendly jobs.

Left-wing MP and candidate Gabriel Borek, 35, is the candidate to win the November 21 elections Javier Torres, AFP

The senator and Christian Democratic candidate warned, “The climate emergency is everyone’s business. The state will make a very important contribution with the new institutions in lithium, water and energy matters, but the private sector must make its own.” Jasna Provost (51) is the only woman among the presidential candidates and third in the polls.

The far-left professor and candidate, Eduardo Artes (70), proposed turning to nuclear power, which he called “not dangerous,” a proposal criticized by other candidates.

Far-right lawyer Jose Antonio Caste, 55, also a favorite in the polls, who does not believe in climate change and refuses to shut down coal-fired power plants to reduce environmental pollution, was not present at the debate.

Senator and Christian Democratic candidate Jasna Provost is the only woman among the presidential candidates and third in opinion polls
Senator and Christian Democratic candidate Jasna Provost is the only woman among the presidential candidates and third in opinion polls Javier Torres, AFP

Economist Franco Baresi, 54, who lives in the United States and has not been involved in any discussion in Chile where he faces legal issues, was also not present.

In the field of education, the candidates agreed to guarantee free, high-quality public education and help students who had to borrow money to access a college career.

Sebastian Seychelles, the ruling center-right candidate and former Minister of Social Development for President Sebastian, promised, “We will advance aggressively in the abolition of CAE (State Guaranteed Credit) to those who have left the system and today are in debt.” Pinera.

“We must create a great common front from right to left to promote public education,” said Progressive Party candidate Marco Enriquez-Ominami, who is running for the fourth time.

All candidates agreed to increase the public budget and appeal to the private sector to attract more resources for the benefit of culture.

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