[QODLink]
Americas

Bachelet likely winner as Chileans begin vote

A recent poll found that former president Michelle Bachelet will defeat opponent Evelyn Matthei 66.3 to 33.7.

Last updated: 15 Dec 2013 11:33
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
More than 13 million are eligible to vote in Sunday's election, but voting is no longer mandatory [Reuters]

Chileans have headed to the polls for a run off-vote that is likely to see socialist former President Michelle Bachelet defeat her conservative rival by a landslide. 

Sunday's vote marks the first time in Latin American history that a presidential runoff has taken place between two women.

"There is a chance Bachelet will get record high support and win with 60 percent of the vote," said Marta Lagos, who heads Latinobarometro Chile, a public opinion survey firm.

A recent University of Santiago and Ipsos poll also found that Bachelet is likely to draw 66.3 percent of the vote and her opponent, Evelyn Matthei, an economist and former labour minister, 33.7 percent.

Voter turnout

Evelyn Matthei has been weakened by her family's ties to the 1973-1990 military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet and by her post in the unpopular government of outgoing President Sebastian Pinera.

Bachelet was Chile's first female president, leading the country from 2006-2010.

"I had the honour to be Chile's first woman president, and it will be great honour once again to be the president of every Chilean man and woman," Bachelet told cheering supporters at her closing campaign rally Thursday.

More than 13 million Chileans are eligible to vote in Sunday's election.

But turnout will be another deciding factor since this year will be the first time voting in a presidential election is voluntary.

227

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
More than 400 gaming dens operate on native lands, but critics say social ills and inequality stack the deck.
The Palestinian president is expected to address the UN with a new proposal for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Nearly 1,200 aboriginal females have been killed or disappeared over 30 years with little justice served, critics say.
Ethnic violence has wracked China's restive Xinjiang region, leading to a tight government clampdown.
Malay artists revitalise the art of puppeteering by fusing tradition with modern characters such as Darth Vader.