Chile's Communist Party has endorsed Socialist presidential candidate Michelle Bachelet in January's runoff election.

Communist supporters account for about five percent of the vote in Chile.

On January 15th, voters in Chile will decide between Ms. Bachelet, who is backed by a center-left coalition, and a conservative millionaire businessman, Sebastian Pinera.

The runoff was triggered when no candidate won a majority of votes during the first round of the presidential election on December 11.

Tuesday's endorsement suggests Ms. Bachelet could draw support from voters who initially cast ballots for Communist Tomas Hirsch, who finished fourth and won five percent of the vote earlier this month.

With the runoff less than three weeks away, a recent opinion poll indicates Ms. Bachelet is leading Mr. Pinera by five percentage points.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.