Next November’s ballots will list the name of iconic student leader Camila Vallejo in Chile’s parliamentary elections. Vallejo will vie to represent the metropolitan area’s 26th district in the Lower House as a Partido Comunista (PC) candidate.
“The matter is how we form a channel that allows the making way for social movement in decisions of national politics.” Vallejo said in an interview with La Tercera last December. “In 2013 we will open that pathway, that will be the debate, how we as directors, representing a program of transformation, break into parliament.”
Guillermo Teillier, PC president, made the announcement Saturday, naming the former University of Chile Student Federation (Fech) president among seven other nominations. Vallejo will campaign alongside fellow activists Camilo Ballesteros and Karol Cariola, former presidents of the University of Santiago Student Federation (Feusach) and Concepción University Student Federation (Fec), respectively. Teillier highlighted their presence during his speech on Saturday, declaring, “the young faces demonstrate the new face of the Partido Comunista”.
Teillier explicitly refused to name a presidential candidate for the time being, putting off any announcements to be made until March. “We are going to decide if we will bring a candidate to the primaries, on the contrary we will decide who to back in the first round.” Amidst rumours of PC support of former president Michelle Bachelet, Vallejo is equally noncommittal. “Bachelet said, ‘we will see in March’, I cannot ensure that I will support Bachelet when she is not saying anything and there is no common program.”
Vallejo, Ballesteros, and Cariola all played key roles in 2011, when the student movement demanding dramatic reforms in an education system criticised as unequal rocked president Sebastián Piñera’s first term. Vallejo in particular became symbolic of the movement both in Chile and abroad.