SANTIAGO – Chilean President Michelle Bachelet received on Tuesday at La Moneda Palace the ruling coalition’s candidate for the presidency, Sen. Alejandro Guillier, who will go up against conservative Sebastian Piñera in the runoff balloting next Dec. 17.
“I’m thankful for the invitation from @bachelet. The country spoke loud and clear for renovation and change. We must strengthen the power of the people,” tweeted Guillier, an independent despite his rapport with the Radical Party.
Guillier discussed with the president his proposals for building on the legacy of her government, while expressing his interest in continuing the reforms promoted during Bachelet’s second term in office.
“We spoke about the changes going on in Chile, the favorable renovation of policies, the many members of a younger generation taking their place in Congress, all signs of a democracy that is working,” the senator told the press with regard to the new body of legislators that was elected last Sunday.
Guillier said that Bachelet “wants to govern until the last day,” so it’s not a good idea to “distract” the chief executive from her agenda of transformation, since she will lead the country until next March 11.
He added that the present government must “do its job well,” since that will be the best possible support for his candidacy, which is binding together the seven center-left parties that make up the ruling coalition.
Guillier, candidate of the Majority Force coalition, last Sunday got the second highest number of votes with 22.68 percent, enough to get it on the runoff ballot.
In this context, President Bachelet invited the coalition’s candidate to her office as part of the repeated calls for unity she has made to the citizens and political parties that make up the ruling coalition.
Before the meeting at La Moneda, Guillier took to social media to express his thanks for the support offered by the Christian Democracy party, following the resignation to the party leadership of its presidential candidate Carolina Goic, whose candidacy won a mere 5.8 percent of the vote on Sunday.
“I thank Christian Democrats for their support for our candidacy. I hope Chileans who felt they were represented by Carolina Goic see themselves reflected in the plural, diverse Chile that is our goal,” the senator said on Twitter.
The Christian Democracy party said Monday it will support Guillier’s candidacy, after announcing early this year that it would compete for the first time in 28 years with its own candidate, which sparked a crisis in the ruling coalition and a split in the party itself, which undoubtedly led to its meager results in Sunday’s elections.