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Frei Concedes Defeat in Chilean Presidential Election


Former Chilean President Eduardo Frei has conceded losing the country's presidential election to conservative billionaire Sebastian Pinera.

With 99 percent of the polling places counted, official returns showed Mr. Pinera with 52 percent of the vote and Mr. Frei with 48 percent.

Mr. Frei conceded defeat Sunday evening, marking an end to two decades of center-left rule in Chile.

The new president will succeed outgoing President Michelle Bachelet. She cannot run for a second consecutive term.

Mr. Pinera, a Harvard-educated economist, lost to Ms. Bachelet in the last presidential vote in 2006. He owns a television station, a soccer team and a stake in Lan Airlines. He is expected to steer Latin America's most stable economy toward more free-market policies.

The center-left coalition known as the Concertacion has been in power since democracy was reinstated in Chile in 1990.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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