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  • Chilean presidential candidates, leftist Alejandro Guillier and right-wing ex-President Sebastian Pinera, participated in a debate.

    Chilean presidential candidates, leftist Alejandro Guillier and right-wing ex-President Sebastian Pinera, participated in a debate. | Photo: Reuters

Published 12 December 2017

Chile's presidential candidates, Alejandro Guillier and ex-President Sebastian Pinera, debated hot-button issues prior to the Dec. 17 runoff.

On Monday, Chile's presidential hopefuls debated several hot-button topics ahead of the upcoming Dec. 17 runoff.

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The two candidates – leftist Alejandro Guillier of the incumbent New Majority and right-wing former President Sebastian Pinera – shared their opinions on some issues of national interest.

Security

Pinera related that during his government, crime and drug trafficking was suppressed, but has since grown under outgoing President Michele Bachelet.

"Zero tolerance against delinquency and fight drug trafficking head-on," the conservative presidential candidate said.

He also stressed the need to modernize the operations of the police, emphasizing his goal of deeply reviewing institutions and improving training and wages for officers.

Education

Guillier proposed to abolish charges on school tuitions because families saddled with debt are often unable to pay, threatening the unity of families.

For Pinera, improving the quality of education is one of the fundamental pillars of his plan from a change in methodology in the area of education.

"In our government, we will return the right to parents to choose the education of their children."

Gay Rights & Abortion

On equal marriage, Pinera stood by his conservative calls to retain the “traditional marriage” between a man and a woman, while same-sex couples would be allowed to engage in a civil union.

With regard to abortion, Guillier said he supports it in dramatic situations, so as to not double victimized, but he rejects it as a method of contraception.

Pensions

Pinera said he supports maintaining a state pension fund.

"The bottom line is that we will improve pensions to all Chileans... We will establish that all senior citizens have free transportation when they go to health checks,” he explained.

"We need to end the monopoly of the established pension fund. Today, the imposition is required," Guillier countered.

"This is an issue where we need to reach a national agreement. We need to combine several alternatives."


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