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Christian Democratic Party
Partido Demócrata Cristiano
LeaderYasna Provoste
PresidentCarmen Frei
Secretary-GeneralDavid Morales
Chief of DeputiesGabriel Ascencio
Chief of SenatorsYasna Provoste
Founded28 July 1957; 64 years ago (1957-07-28)
Merger ofSocial Christian Conservative Party
National Falange
HeadquartersAv. Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins 1460, Santiago de Chile
Student wingDemocracia Cristiana Universitaria
Youth wingJuventud Demócrata Cristiana
Membership (2021)31,776 (7th)[1]
IdeologyChristian democracy[2][3][4]
Third Way[2][3][4]
Social conservatism[5]
Political positionCentre[7][8][9][10] to centre-left[4][11]
National affiliation
International affiliationCentrist Democrat International
Regional affiliationChristian Democrat Organization of America
Colours  Azure blue (customary)
Chamber of Deputies
8 / 155
6 / 43
Regional Boards
44 / 278
55 / 345
Communal Councils
388 / 2,224
Party flag
Flag of the Christian Democrat Party of Chile.svg

The Christian Democratic Party (Spanish: Partido Demócrata Cristiano, PDC) is a Christian democratic political party in Chile, led by Carmen Frei. There have been three Christian Democrat presidents in the past, Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, Patricio Aylwin, and Eduardo Frei Montalva.

Customarily, the PDC backs specific initiatives in an effort to bridge socialism and laissez-faire capitalism. This economic system has been called "social capitalism" and is heavily influenced by Catholic social teaching or, more generally, Christian ethics. In addition to this objective, the PDC also supports a strong national government while remaining more conservative on social issues. However, after Pinochet's military regime ended the PDC embraced more classical economic policies compared to before the dictatorship. The current Secretary-General of the PDC is Gonzalo Duarte. In their latest "Ideological Congress", the Christian Democrats criticized Chile's current economic system and called for a shift toward a social market economy (economía social de mercado). The PDC had cooperated with centre-left parties after the end of Pinochet rule until it left the centre-left coalition New Social Pact.


The origins of the party go back to the 1930s, when the Conservative Party split between traditionalist and social-Christian sectors. In 1935, the social-Christians split from the Conservative Party to form the Falange Nacional (National Phalanx), a more socially oriented and centrist group.[12]

The Falange Nacional showed their centrist policies by supporting leftist Juan Antonio Ríos (Radical Party of Chile) in the 1942 presidential elections but Conservative Eduardo Cruz-Coke in the 1946 elections. Despite the creation of the Falange Nacional, many social-Christians remained in the Conservative Party, which in 1949 split into the Social Christian Conservative Party and the Traditionalist Conservative Party. On July 28, 1957, primarily to back the presidential candidacy of Eduardo Frei Montalva, the Falange Nacional, Social Christian Conservative Party, and other like-minded groups joined to form the Christian Democratic Party. Frei lost the elections, but presented his candidacy again in 1964, this time also supported by the right-wing parties. That year, Frei triumphed with 56% of the vote. Despite right-wing backing for his candidacy, Frei declared his planned social revolution would not be hampered by this support.[citation needed]

In 1970, Radomiro Tomic, leader of the left-wing faction of the party, was nominated to the presidency, but lost to socialist Salvador Allende. The Christian Democrat vote was crucial in the Congressional confirmation of Allende's election, since he had received less than the necessary 50%. Although the Christian Democratic Party voted to confirm Allende's election, they declared themselves as part opposition because of Allende's economic policy. By 1973, Allende has lost the support of most Christian Democrats (except for Tomic's left-wing faction), some of whom even began calling for the military to step in. By the time of Pinochet's coup, most Christian Democrats applauded the military takeover, believing that the government would quickly be turned over to them by the military. Once it became clear that Pinochet had no intention of relinquishing power, the Christian Democrats went into opposition. During the 1981 plebiscite where Chilean voted to extend Pinochet's term for eight more years, Eduardo Frei Montalva led the only authorized opposition rally. When political parties were legalized again, the Christian Democratic Party, together with most left-wing parties, agreed to form the Coalition of Parties for the No, which opposed Pinochet's reelection on the 1988 plebiscite. This coalition later became Coalition of Parties for Democracy once Pinochet stepped down from power and held together until 2010s.

During the first years of the return to democracy, the Christian Democrats enjoyed wide popular support. Presidents Patricio Aylwin and Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle were both from that party, and it was also the largest party in Congress. However, the Christian Democrat Andrés Zaldívar lost the Coalition of Parties for Democracy 1999 primaries to socialist Ricardo Lagos. In the parliamentary elections of 2005, the Christian Democrats lost eight seats in Congress, and the right-wing Independent Democratic Union became the largest party in the legislative body. The Christian Democrats lost its influence to the socialists after Michelle Bachelet became President.

In recent years, the Christian Democrats have favored abortion in three cases (when a pregnancy threatens the mother's life, when the fetus has little chance of survival, and when the pregnancy is a result of rape), but not in any other instances, and opposes on-demand abortion.[13]

The Christian Democrats left the Nueva Mayoría coalition on 29 April 2017 and nominated current party president Carolina Goic as their candidate for the 2017 presidential election. The Nueva Mayoria has struggled to remain united as differences have opened up within the coalition over approaches to a government reform drive, including changes to the labour code and attempted reform of Chile’s strict abortion laws.[14] In 2020, all Christian Democrats senators voted in favour of same-sex marriage.

in 2020 the party gave its support for "Approve" in the 2020 chilean national plebiscite

After the 2019–2021 chilean protests most of La Nueva Mayoria including the PDC regrouped to form constituent unity and participated in the 2021 constitutional convention election (as The Approval List) and the 2021 gubernatorial elections

Logo used on advertising since 2020.
Logo used on advertising since 2020.

After those elections the group renamed to New Social Pact to participate in the 2021 general election, PDC senator Yasna provoste was chosen as the coalitions candidiate, after she lost the first round the PDC supported Gabriel Boric for the second round, in which Boric won the election.

After Boric won the election, most of the New Social Pact parties supported joining Boric's government, on the other hand the Christian Democrat's president, Ximena Rincon, said that the party would be a "constructive opposition" and said that any member joining the government should have to resign to the party[15] After this the PDC was excluded from the new coalition "Democratic socialism".

Presidents elected under Christian Democratic Party

Presidential candidates

The following is a list of the presidential candidates supported by the Christian Democratic Party. (Information gathered from the Archive of Chilean Elections).

Election results

Chamber of Deputies Election
Election Leader Votes % Seats +/- Coalition President
1961 Narciso Irueta 213,468 15.93%
23 / 147 (16%)
N/A Jorge Alessandri (Ind.)
1965 Renán Fuentealba 995,187 43.60%
82 / 147 (56%)
+59 Eduardo Frei (PDC)
1969 Rafael Agustín Gumucio 716,547 31.05%
55 / 150 (37%)
−27 Eduardo Frei Montalva (PDC)
1973 Renán Fuentealba 1,055,120 29.07%
50 / 150 (33%)
−5 Confederation of Democracy Salvador Allende (PS)
Congress Suspended (1973–1989)
1989 Andrés Zaldívar 1,766,347 25.99%
38 / 120 (32%)
N/A Concertación Patricio Aylwin (PDC)
1993 Gutenberg Martínez 1,827,373 27.12%
37 / 120 (31%)
−1 Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle (PDC)
1997 Enrique Krauss 1,331,745 22.98%
38 / 120 (32%)
+1 Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle (PDC)
2001 Patricio Aylwin 1,162,210 18.92%
23 / 120 (19%)
−15 Ricardo Lagos (PPD)
2005 Adolfo Zaldívar 1,354,631 20.78%
20 / 120 (17%)
−3 Michelle Bachelet (PS)
2009 Juan Carlos Latorre 931,789 14.24%
19 / 120 (16%)
−1 Sebastián Piñera (RN)
2013 Ignacio Walker 965,364 15.56%
22 / 120 (18%)
+3 New Majority Michelle Bachelet (PS)
2017 Carolina Goic 616,550 10.28%
14 / 155 (9%)
−8 Democratic Convergence Sebastian Piñera (Ind.)
2021 Yasna Provoste 264,985 4.19%
8 / 155 (5%)
−6 New Social Pact Gabriel Boric (CS)


  1. ^ Menú. "Estadísticas de afiliados a partidos políticos – Servicio Electoral de Chile". Retrieved 2022-03-23.
  2. ^ a b Pablo Garrido González (December 2012). "Revolución en Libertad, Concepto y programa político de la Democracia cristiana chilena" (PDF). Programa de Historia de Las Ideas Políticas en Chile. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-06-20. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  3. ^ a b Gómez Peralta, Héctor (6 September 2012). "Precisiones conceptuales sobre la democracia cristiana y el neo-liberalismo" [Conceptual details on Christian democracy and neo-liberalism]. Estudios Políticos (in Spanish). 9 (27). doi:10.22201/fcpys.24484903e.2012.27.33124.
  4. ^ a b c Walker, Ignacio; Jouannet, Andrés (2006). "Democracia Cristiana y Concertación: Los Casos de Chile, Italia y Alemania" [Christian Democracy and Concertation: the Cases of Chile, Italy and Germany]. Revista de ciencia política (Santiago) (in Spanish). 26 (2). doi:10.4067/S0718-090X2006000200004.
  5. ^ Sol Serrano (2005). "Conservadurismo y Democracia Cristiana" (PDF). Centro de Estudios Miguel Enríquez. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  6. ^ "20 cosas que hay que saber sobre Yasna Provoste, quien hoy lanzó su candidatura presidencial | Ex-Ante". (in Spanish). 2021-04-24. Retrieved 2021-08-07.
  7. ^ Boyd, Sebastian (15 December 2017). "How Chile's Shifting Politics Baffled Markets".
  8. ^ Slattery, Gram (11 March 2017). "Chile Christian Democrats pick senator for crowded presidential race". Reuters.
  9. ^ Navia, Patricio; Osorio, Rodrigo (December 2015). "It's the Christian Democrats' Fault: Declining Political Identification in Chile, 1957–2012". Canadian Journal of Political Science. 48 (4): 815–838. doi:10.1017/S0008423915001067.
  10. ^ "CIA Paid Chilean Pols". CBS News. 13 November 2000.
  11. ^ Frei, Eduardo (October 26, 2014). "Eduardo Frei: 'Conozco a la DC y no es un partido de derecha sino que de centroizquierda'" [Eduardo Frei: 'I know the DC and it is not a right-wing party but a center-left party']. El Día (in Spanish). Archived from the original on October 26, 2014.
  12. ^ Oppenheim, Lois Hecht (23 January 2007). Politics In Chile: Socialism, Authoritarianism, and Market Democracy (Third ed.). Boulder, CO: Westview Press. p. 15. ISBN 9780367319427.
  13. ^ C, David Aguayo (20 May 2017). "Carolina Goic por aborto: 'No es un tema para evaluar el voto con la calculadora'" [Carolina Goic for abortion: 'It is not an issue to evaluate the vote with the calculator']. La Tercera (in Spanish).
  14. ^ "Chile's governing coalition splits ahead of November election". Reuters. 30 April 2017.
  15. ^ Cornejo, Claudia (2021-12-13). "Rincón por rol de la DC en eventual gobierno de Boric: recalca que serán oposición y que si algún militante es llamado a participar "correspondería" que deje el partido". La Tercera. Retrieved 2022-01-25.

Further reading

Media related to Christian Democrat Party of Chile at Wikimedia Commons