Chile's Bachelet can't avoid runoff in presidential election
SANTIAGO, Chile — Michelle Bachelet won nearly twice as many votes as her closest rival in Chile's presidential election on Sunday, but she fell short of the outright majority needed to avoid a Dec. 15 runoff.
With 92 percent of votes counted, moderate socialist Bachelet had nearly 47 percent, to 25 percent for conservative Evelyn Matthei. Seven other candidates trailed far behind.
Bachelet predicted she would win big in the second round and will push forward major social reforms.
“We're going to have a decisive and strong victory that backs up the transformation program that we have been building,” she said.
Matthei's campaign celebrated getting another try at Bachelet, this time in a one-on-one race.
“Going into a second round is certainly a triumph,” Matthei told supporters.
Bachelet, 62, left office with an 84 percent approval rating after her 2006-10 presidency despite failing then to bring about major changes in society. This time, she has taken up the cause of protesters, vowing to revamp the constitution, raise corporate taxes to fund an education overhaul and reduce the wealth gap.
But Bachelet's center-left New Majority coalition failed on Sunday to win the super-majorities in Congress needed to make those changes.
Matthei, 60, an outspoken former labor minister, says Chile must continue business-friendly policies she credited for fast growth and low unemployment under center-right President Sebastian Pinera. She favors funding programs through improved economic growth, not by raising taxes.
Bachelet and Matthei were childhood friends, but were on opposite sides after Chile's 1973 military coup, when Matthei's father ran the military school where Gen. Alberto Bachelet was tortured to death for remaining loyal to ousted President Salvador Allende.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Radical left wins Greek parliamentary election on vow to end austerity measures
- Gunmen storm Libya hotel, killing American, 9 others
- Release terrorist, or 2 will be killed, ISIS vows
- Obama ‘pays respects’ to late Saudi Arabian monarch
- ISIS affiliate claims hotel bombing in Libya that killed 10, including American
- Jordan agrees to ISIS swap, releasing suicide bomber to get pilot back
- Have another baby, Chinese officials coax couples
- Deadly attacks pinned on ISIS