(Bloomberg) -- Chilean Senate head Yasna Provoste will compete in the November presidential elections, seeking to boost chances of the center-left coalition recapturing the nation’s top job amid lingering social unrest.
Provoste, who is a member the Christian Democracy party, tweeted a photo of herself saying “for president in 2022” with a link to her official campaign website -- yasnapresidenta.cl. She is expected to deliver a speech later today.
Provoste, 51, is an experienced lawmaker who ranked high in presidential polls even before formally launching her candidacy. She forms part of the political alliance that ruled Chile for much of the past three decades. Her candidacy comes as Chile, one of Latin America’s richest nations, face simmering social tensions and growing rejection of traditional parties.
The Christian Democracy party hasn’t officially announced whether she will compete in a primary vote against Paula Narvaez, a member of the Socialist Party, within the same coalition.
Her move comes days after deputy Gabriel Boric scored a surprise win over a more radical contender in a primary election among far-left candidates. Analysts have said that Boric, who places an emphasis on political dialogue and has fared well in debates, may siphon votes from Provoste’s coalition.
Read more: Chile Stocks Surge as Communist Knocked Out of Presidential Race
A physical education teacher by training, Provoste was tapped as social development minister by former President Ricardo Lagos and then education minister under his successor, Michelle Bachelet.
Known for leaning further to the left than others in her party, Provoste has pressured President Sebastian Pinera for more direct aid to the poor during the coronavirus outbreak. As senate head, she also gained visibility during debates on proposals including early pension fund withdrawals.
Provoste joins a field of candidates that also includes former government minister Sebastian Sichel on the center-right and former lower house deputy Jose Antonio Kast on the far-right. The first round of the presidential election will take place Nov. 21, with a possible runoff scheduled for December.
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