Chileans vote in an uncertain runoff presidential election on Sunday that will determine if the world’s top copper producer stays on its center-left course or joins a tide of Latin American nations turning to the right in recent years. Billionaire former President Sebastian Pinera, 68, a conservative who was considered the front-runner but earned fewer votes than expected in last month’s first round, faces center-left journalist and senator Alejandro Guillier, 64. Both candidates would keep in place Chile’s longstanding free-market economic model, but Pinera has promised lower taxes to turbocharge growth while Guillier wants the government to press on with outgoing President Michelle Bachelet’s overhaul of education, taxes and labor.
The contest comes ahead of a long stretch of elections in Latin America in 2018. While populist candidates are polling near the top for the region’s largest economies of Brazil and Mexico, none advanced to the second round in Chile.
“One of the striking features, if you stand back, there’s this anti-establishment sentiment gaining ground in Latin America and the choices the (Chilean) voters face on Sunday are fairly mainstream,” said Michael Shifter, President of the Washington-based Inter-American Dialogue.
Full Article: Billionaire, former journalist face off for Chile presidency.