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 Dec. 15 runoff. With more than 92% of votes counted, the moderate socialist Bachelet had nearly 47%, to 25% for conservative Evelyn Matthei. Seven other candidates trailed far behind. Bachelet predicted she would win big in the second round and push forward major social reforms. “We’re going to have a decisive and strong victory that backs up the transformation program that we have been building,” she said. Matthei’s campaign celebrated getting another try at Bachelet, this time in a one-on-one race. “Going into a second round is certainly a triumph,” an exultant Matthei told supporters.
Bachelet, 62, left office with an 84% approval rating after her 2006-10 presidency despite failing then to bring about major changes in society. This time, she has taken up the cause of protesters, vowing to revamp the constitution, raise corporate taxes to fund an education overhaul and reduce the wealth gap.
But Bachelet’s center-left New Majority coalition failed Sunday to win the super-majorities in Congress needed to make those changes.
Full Article: Bachelet tops Chile presidential vote; faces runoff.