The second round of elections for Chile’s regional governors, which for the first time will be chosen by a popular vote in the country, began as the country continues to grapple with the Covid pandemic.
President Sebastian Pinera called the elections “very important and historic because today, for the first time, 13 regions of Chile are going to elect their governor”, reports Xinhua news agency
Health Minister Enrique Paris said that the Ministry of Health has, alongside the Electoral Service of Chile (Servel), ensured that the elections will be carried out “safely, so that our compatriots can exercise their right to express their opinion at the polls” during the pandemic.
Servel reported that all 40,382 polling stations had been installed across the country, staffed by more than 115,000 workers.
On May 16, Chile held historic elections for mayors, councillors, regional governors, and the 155 constituents who will draft the country’s new constitution.
However, only three of the 16 regions managed to elect a governor, as a candidate must receive over 40 per cent of the vote to be elected to the position in the first round.
For the first time in Chile’s history, governors will be elected directly by the citizen vote instead of being appointed by the President.
Chile ended the week with a weekly average of over 7,000 daily Covid-19 cases, the Health Ministry reported on Sunday.
The entire Santiago Metropolitan Region entered a total lockdown on Saturday, with residents only able to leave their homes to vote in the elections.