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Former President Wins Chilean Vote; Faces Runoff

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

The moderate socialist had nearly 47 percent of the vote, to 25 percent for conservative Evelyn Matthei.

Ms. 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.

Ms. 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. Ms. Bachelet's coalition had 51 percent in the Senate and 48 percent in the lower chamber.

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