Monday, March 18th 2013 - 20:52 UTC

Bachelet returns to Chile for primaries; good chances of becoming opposition presidential candidate

Former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet who resigned to her job as the Executive Director of UN Women is to be proclaimed as the leading presidential candidate at the opposition parties primary elections to be held next April 13. She has very good chances of repeating her four year period, according to public opinion polls.

She was the first woman president of Chile and left office with exceptional support

Former Defence minister Allamand is one of the ruling conservative coalition hopefuls

“Once back in Chile Ms Bachelet will make an official announcement about her willingness to dispute the presidency”, said Carmen Andrade a Socialist party official and close to the former president. The proclamation of her candidacy will be jointly held between the Socialist party (to which she belongs) and the Party for Democracy, two of the forces from the centre left coalition that ruled Chile since the return of democracy in 1990 until 2010 when the current conservative leader Sebastian Piñera took office.

Andrade said that on 12 April both parties will formally register their candidates independently, as marked by law, for the primaries scheduled for June 30. “But on April 13 the two parties will jointly proclaim Michelle Bachelet as our presidential candidate for the coalition’s primary in June”.

“Bachelet is the hope of many people in Chile, and she will participate in all the necessary debates; we know the conservative right is dead scared of Michelle who was our first woman president, but above all a great president (2006/2010) for the needy and vulnerable Chileans, and respected by all citizens”.

Andrade went on to say that Ms Bachelet has become “a world figure and this makes us all Chileans very proud”.

In the June 30 primaries, the former president will be fighting with the Christian Democrats hopeful Claudio Orrego, independent Andres Velasco (who was Bachelet’ Finance minister) and Senator Jose Antonio Gomez from the Radical Social-democrats party, a junior political organization.

On that same day the conservative coalition will be holding its own primary with Laurence Golborne, former Public Works minister supported by the Independent Democratic Union, UDI and Andres Allamand, former Defence minister and the candidate of National Renovation (RN) that belongs to President Piñera.

“When Bachelet returns she will find a far better country than what she left”, said Allamand who emphasized that under the administration of President Piñera economic growth has expanded and unemployment has fallen dramatically. “The coalition that supports Bachelet is only interested in their ambition of power”.

“During the time of Bachelet the economy was flat, enterprises were unable to take off and unemployment was significant, and when she arrives from overseas she will realize that many of the promises from the Concertacion governments have been achieved by this administration of President Piñera” pointed out Allamand.

“Most probably the only thing she will find unchanged is the worn out coalition that supports her, a grouping of different forces which includes the Communist party and are going all out for her support”.

Chilean national and presidential elections are scheduled for December this year.

15 comments Feed

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1 Think (#) Mar 18th, 2013 - 09:04 pm Report abuse
“Good chances of becoming opposition presidential candidate” says MercoPress
“Good chances”?
You call 100% chances for “Good Chances”
Qué comieron?
2 Frank (#) Mar 18th, 2013 - 09:14 pm Report abuse
Isn't it nice to see a functional democracy in South America.
3 Anglotino (#) Mar 18th, 2013 - 09:38 pm Report abuse
Agreed Frank. Seems to be no desire to change the constitution to preserve power. Nice short 4 year terms and no immediate reelection.

Part of the reason that Chile is quickly on its way to advanced economy status and its neighbour is slipping slowly down developing economy status.

No matter who wins, they won't steal and rob the taxpayers blind nor embarrass their country as much as CFK has and continues to.
4 Think (#) Mar 18th, 2013 - 09:51 pm Report abuse
Ladies and Gentlemen.....
The next president of Chile....
Verónica Michelle Bachelet Jeria....
5 you are not first (#) Mar 18th, 2013 - 11:37 pm
Comment removed by the editor.
6 bushpilot (#) Mar 19th, 2013 - 12:16 am Report abuse
Just give this raving drunk a little extra space when you walk around him. You should be olrite.
7 Anglotino (#) Mar 19th, 2013 - 01:47 am Report abuse
Considering my city is further south than both Santiago and Buenos Aires..... well the rest of comment 7 really makes no sense anyway.
8 Marcos Alejandro (#) Mar 19th, 2013 - 04:49 am
Comment removed by the editor.
9 Conqueror (#) Mar 19th, 2013 - 11:09 am Report abuse
@4 Don't the people get to vote first?
10 Anglotino (#) Mar 19th, 2013 - 11:22 am Report abuse
@9 Conqs

You should know that isn't exactly the Argentine way.
11 Condorito (#) Mar 19th, 2013 - 01:41 pm Report abuse
I welcome Bachelet back. She didn't do a bad job during her 4 years in La Moneda. I am not particularly moved by either of the Alliance candidates, but Piñera has done a good job and his team deserve another 4 years. They made a bad start but improved as the term evolved.

If you objectively compare their achievements in office you will see that Piñera achieved much more, with Piñera we had:
- higher growth (5.5% last year)
- lower unemployment
- lower inflation (under 2% last year)
- increased public spending
- increased income (6% average, 25% for lowest decile)
- increased minimum wage

In Bachelet's favor she did spend much more on defense and less on public services than Piñera and that does appeal to my harder instincts.

In the bigger picture, whoever wins we will be just fine. Expect continued stable growth of the economy and improved well being of the population. Left, center or Right the program will continue. Win - Win.

PS: If we get Bachelet back, HidroAysen will go through like a greased pig in a pipe, all couched in the soft language of a mother talking lovingly to her little uns.
12 Think (#) Mar 19th, 2013 - 03:00 pm Report abuse
Ladies and Gentlemen
Camila Antonia Amaranta Vallejo Dowling
Upcomig MP and….., why not , Minister of Education
13 Condorito (#) Mar 19th, 2013 - 03:53 pm Report abuse
Children of the social elite always make the best communist dreamers.

...but while we are off topic...
I present Pascuala Ilabaca Argandoña:

More than makes up for a disappointing Viña this year.
14 Sergio Vega (#) Mar 21st, 2013 - 01:38 am Report abuse
11@ I agree with you about your Piñera´s work at the office....but I can´t agree with you analysys about Bachellet´s.....During her term with a much better world economy, high cooper price, transntiago bus system, tsunami lortal missmanagement, etc, her 4 years result was more than disappointing......which led his coalition to loose the election, fotunately for Chile and Chileans...... So better she stay at any UN works where she can damage our future of development......
15 Condorito (#) Mar 21st, 2013 - 03:34 pm Report abuse
14 Sergio
I agree with you that the Piñera era has seen much better economic performance than in previous years. But what I am saying about Bachelet (and the Concertación in general) is that they are not so bad. They guided us through 20 years of steady economic growth and got us to the top position in South America for every economic (and most social) indicators - credit must be given for that.

The Concertación have never strayed far from the reforms laid down by Büchi. They continued with the liberalization of the economy, they sought FDI, they pushed for FTA at every opportunity, they ran a fiscal surplus - in most countries these would be the hallmarks of a right wing or neo-con government. This is why it is win - win, we have no effective “left”.

Look at the “leftiest” candidate (I guess he will no longer run now MB is back) Andres Velasques a free-market capitalist who when finance minister in 2006 refused to increase public spending in order to save the copper bonanza for a rainy day...and he was right. The fact that such capitalist fiscal disciplinarians are supported by our “far left” is a cause for celebration - in Chile the left has been utterly defeated.

If the pubic chooses objectively we will get a continuation of the current government. The facts are that compared to 4 years ago we have more jobs, better jobs, lower inflation, more purchasing power, better health, reformed education, higher minimum wage and lower crime - unfortunately objectivity is largely absent from presidential elections.

Whoever wins the next election, the next 4 years will see growth above the regional average and continual social progress. I agree with you about Bachelet's failings, but we are lucky, look at the other leaders around the continent. I would take Bachelet any day before any other South American leader.

Saludos desde la Región Estrella!

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