Chilean president Gabriel Boric on Friday evening stepped out to the balcony of Government House (La Moneda) to address the thousands of people cheering him in the ample plaza. It was his first speech as president to the people, and he made a strong call to unity, acknowledging that his job in the coming four years “would not be easy”.
Socialist Michelle Bachelet, who was Chile's president from 2006 to 2010, cruised to victory in Sunday's presidential runoff.
Chileans are set to head to the polls this Sunday to choose their next president, but experts fear much more than half the electorate will opt not for Michelle Bachelet or Evelyn Matthei, but to stay at home on election day instead. The election’s first round, held Nov. 17, saw the debut of the voluntary voting system in Chilean presidential elections and a turnout of 6.7 million, half-a-million-votes less than were counted in 2010, when voting was still mandatory for those on the electoral role.
Chileans went to the polls Sunday and chose to send Michelle Bachelet and Evelyn Matthei to a runoff election with 46.7% and 25% of the vote respectively, but abstention far outstripped them both — less than half the number of voters on the electoral roll cast a vote.
Two ladies and daughters of Air Force generals (but from opposite sides) will be disputing the run off on 15 December when the next Chilean president will be elected. Given the fact that on last Sunday's first round Socialist Michelle Bachelet was only three points short of a majority, and over twenty points ahead of conservative Evelyn Matthei there should be no doubts about who will be inaugurated at La Moneda next March 2014.
It will come as no surprise to Chileans that some of the country’s biggest companies — and richest families — have donated millions of dollars to presidential and parliamentary campaigns this election season. However, until an investigative report was published last week, people were only able to speculate on the matter, as a law passed in 2003 allows donors and donations to remain completely anonymous.
Popular former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet announced late Wednesday that she is running in the 17 November election. Bachelet, the country's first female president 2006-2010, made the announcement at a public event in a southern Santiago neighborhood where she grew up.