SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Center-left Senator Alejandro Guillier and conservative billionaire Sebastian Pinera will go head to head in a runoff for Chile’s presidency on Sunday, after securing the top two spots in the Nov. 19 first-round vote.
There have been no major polls in the past month, leaving few indications of who will succeed outgoing center-left President Michelle Bachelet in the world’s top copper producer.
Below are the main proposals from both candidates:
- The former journalist, elected to the Senate in 2013, has promised to deepen the progressive tax, education and labor reforms of ideological ally Bachelet. His spending plan includes investments in housing and infrastructure and carries a price tag of $10 billion.
- Guillier has pledged to diversify Chile’s economy away from copper, or add value to exports by processing the metal at home. He would seek a plebiscite in 2018 to rewrite the dictatorship-era constitution to include more protections for workers and indigenous communities.
- Since the first round, Guillier and Pinera have both endorsed a “public option” to compete with Chile’s private pension funds. Once widely praised worldwide, they have been criticized for delivering too-small payouts. Guillier has also recommended a new, mandatory contribution from employers.
- Guillier and Pinera have both called for repeal of state-run copper producer Codelco’s mandatory contribution of 10 percent of profits to the military. Guillier has signaled he would seek to maintain the government’s strong ties with Codelco workers, something that has spared the company from strikes that have hit private miners under Bachelet.
- The billionaire businessman, who served as president from 2010 to 2014, has promised to make Chile the first country in Latin America to achieve “developed nation” status in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a Paris-based club of wealthy nations.
- Pinera, the investor favorite, would cut corporate taxes to increase investment. He said his policies would double Chile’s economic growth and eliminate poverty by 2025.
- Pinera’s $14 billion, four-year spending plan includes an overhaul of Bachelet’s tax reform, and $2.7 billion in new investments in infrastructure and hospitals. Pinera said he would pay for his proposals by cutting “unnecessary” government spending and simplifying the tax code.
- Pinera wants to revitalize and increase competition in Chile’s private pension system. His plan includes new subsidies to raise pensions for women and the middle class, as well as incentives to encourage workers to retire later.
- He wants Codelco to deploy a “realistic investment plan using existing resources” and to focus on existing assets rather than new projects.
Reporting by Dave Sherwood; Editing by David Gregorio