Former President of Chile Michelle Bachelet on pole position to regain her seat

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CHILEFormer president of Chile Michelle Bachelet won the first round of the general election that took place on Sunday, after campaigning on promises of major changes in education, health, social security and taxes. The candidate of the center-left got 47.5 percent of the vote, and was followed by Evelyn Matthei, an economist of the conservative Alliance political bloc that now governs the country.

But after failing to get more than 50% of the vote, Bachelet will have to face Matthei in a second round that will take place on the 15th of November this year.

Reacting to Sunday’s vote, Ms. Bachelet, 62, said : « people have voted for free and quality education, for an end to profit, for more integration and opportunities for our children. Chileans have voted for a tax reform to enable the needed reforms in public health, pensions, social policies, and for those who have more to contribute as they should ».

Her program is also based on a revision of the Constitution inherited from the 1980 Pinochet’s dictatorship. One of her main ambitions is notably the depenalisation of abortion, now prohibited even for therapeutical purposes.

Ms. Bachelet promised to implement all those reforms at most three months after her election, but is conscious it will be difficult to follow the schedule.

Martin BERNARD, IEJ3F1

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