December 1, 2023
Denis Balibouse/Reuters

In a rare act of public support, Bachelet announced the vote for Borek in Chile – International

Santiago – United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former Chilean President, Michelle Bachelet, announced the vote for the left-wing candidate for the Presidency of the Republic Gabriel Borek This Tuesday, the 14th, in a rare case of a political demonstration by a high-ranking official responsible for the United Nations, as well as in front of former presidents of the country.

“It doesn’t matter if I vote for any candidate, so I will vote for Gabriel Boric,” Bachelet said in a video posted by his foundation, Horizonte Cidadão. He silently respects those who think differently.”

On vacation in Chile, Bachelet claimed that he came to the country to perform his civic duty. “What will be decided next Sunday is fundamental. No one can be indifferent,” he said, urging Chile to choose “a president who ensures that our country can truly continue down the path of progress for all, on the path of greater freedom, equality and respected human rights.” sustainable environment, and of course an opportunity to create a new constitution.”

Borek said when asked about the meeting by Chilean TV presenter Solid Oneto. “We had a very good conversation because I have to learn from your successes and your mistakes.”

Support was questioned by Borek’s rival, far-right candidate José Antonio Caste, who “regretted” that “the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is interfering in this way in the elections”.

The Bachelet Foundation, set up in 2018, had already “unequivocally” declared its support for the Broad Front and made itself available for its candidacy in November, after the first round of the presidential election.

The United Nations recommends discretion

The manifestations of Bachelet is a rare case. According to the UN’s Code of Conduct, international officials must “exercise discretion in their support of a political party or campaign and must not accept, solicit money, write articles or make speeches or public statements to the press,” adding that when in doubt, such cases should be referred to chief executive officer.

“This leaves out a lot of the UN habit,” says diplomat Rubens Ricupero, who was Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad). “I imagine she did it because she was president, she must be worried about the situation, but in my many years at the United Nations, I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Ricupero does not believe, however, that the act should be punished. The other candidate (José Antonio Caste) is a far-right candidate, and unless he wins the election and decides to raise the issue, it will be nothing more than a certain reaction. Bachelet could argue that Caste threatened human rights, and because she was empowered, she felt compelled to stand up for human rights,” she says.

For him, the demonstration should not set precedents either. “It’s a very isolated case. I think that happened because she was president, and there are a few UN jobs of that kind in the hands of people who have had that kind of role. There’s just her and the secretary-general,” he says.

Usually former presidents don’t show themselves

Chilean political scientist Miguel Herrera, of the Centro de Estudios Públicos, explains that Bachelet has not violated any Chilean electoral rules. Traditionally in the country, the former president does not show any support for a candidate. However, this is just a tradition and not a legal rule,” he says.

He notes that the position has a symbolic effect on more traditional sections of the electorate, such as the new majority. “He may have some influence on the more hardline base in the coalition, but he’s in the minority.”

For him, Bachelet’s appearance does not guarantee good results for Borek. “At one point Bachelet backed Paula Narvaez (her former spokeswoman), and she ended up not even passing the primary in her sector,” he recalls.