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Bachelet Wins Round 1 of Chile Election, Faces Runoff

  • VOA News

Chilean presidential candidate Michelle Bachelet waves to supporters after leading in the first round of elections in Santiago, Nov. 17, 2013.

Chilean presidential candidate Michelle Bachelet waves to supporters after leading in the first round of elections in Santiago, Nov. 17, 2013.

Former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet won nearly twice as many votes as her closest rival in Chile's presidential election Sunday, but fell short of the outright majority needed to avoid a December 15 runoff.

The moderate socialist got nearly 47 percent of the vote, conservative Evelyn Matthei won 25 percent.

Bachelet left office with an 84-percent approval rating after her 2006-2010 presidency. Chile allows presidents to serve more than one term, but not consecutively.

Bachelet is backed by her New Majority alliance of socialists, Christian Democrats and communists.

She has pledged to narrow the country's wage income gap and revise the constitution, which dates back to the 17-year dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

All 120 lower house seats and 20 out of 38 Senate seats were also being contested. Bachelet's coalition won 51 percent of the votes in the Senate and 48 percent in the lower chamber.
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