Chilean Christian Democrats
Universidad Catolica de Chile alumni
Chileans of Basque descent
Chilean Christian Democrats Forum
Miguel Adolfo Gerardo Zaldivar Larrain is a Chilean politician and lawyer. He is currently senator for Aisen and since March 2008 he has been President of the Senate. He was a historic member of the Christian Democratic Party until his expulsion in December 2007.
Zaldivar is married to Maria Alicia Larrain Shaux and has six children. He is the brother of former Interior Minister Andres Zaldivar.
Life and career
Zaldivar received secondary formation at the Instituto de Humanidades Luis Campino. Then, he went to university at the law faculty of the Catholic University in Chile, which he concluded in 1967. As a partner at the law firm "Irureta, Zaldivar, Briones y Hernandez", he worked in his profession until he finished his studies.
In 1965 Zaldivar became the university party leader of the Christian Democrat Party (PDC), and from 1970 to 1972 he occupied the post of national counselor for youth of this party. In the following year he became the national leader of the lawyers of the PDC, and filled this position until 1980. He is a co-founder of the Chilean Commission of Human Rights.
From 1985 to 1988 Zaldivar was president of the Forum of Political Integration of Chile and Argentina. From 1983 to 1989 he was part of the fiscal commission of the PDC. Then from 1983 to 1990 he worked as national counselor of the PDC, then he became premier national vice-president.
In the elections of December 1993 Zaldivar was elected senator, and formed the senate's mining commission. He went on to form the commission on national defense and the commission of maritime interests, fishing and aquaculture. From 2002 to 2006 he was president of the PDC.
In early 2006, after he lost the presidency of the PDC to Soledad Alvear, Zaldivar became a vocal critic of the Chilean economic system and voiced his disappointment with the government's "unwillingness" to amend it. He frequently came into conflict with Alvear and in August 2007 the Christian Democrat Party's Supreme Tribunal chastised him for his criticisms. Additionally, he was one of the harshest critics of the Transantiago public transport system, created under the leadership of the Concertacion coalition to which the Christian Democrats belonged. In November 2007, Zaldivar, together with senators from the Alliance for Chile and independents Fernando Flores and Carlos Bianchi, voted against continued funding for the Transantiago, against the wishes of his party's leadership. Alvear and her followers accused Zaldivar of "siding with the right" and requested his expulsion from the party. In December, the party leadership formally presented the expulsion request to the Supreme Tribunal of the party, on the basis of his decision to ignore the party wishes on the Transantiago funding bill and for Zaldivar's harsh criticisms of the leadership's actions regarding corruption. The Tribunal finally decided to expel Zaldivar on December 27, 2007. On March 12, 2008 he became President of the Senate with the votes from the right-wing Alliance for Chile.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Adolfo Zaldivar