Chileans vote for a president today

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chileans voted Sunday in a runoff presidential election pitting two polar opposites, Andres Allamand of the center-left and a billionaire businessman Sebastian Pinera.

Allamand, 47, was the leading vote-getter in the first round last month, though just 23 percent of the electorate actually turned out to vote. This election was expected to produce a similar turnout with fewer undecided voters and a more committed electorate split between Allamand and Pinera.

Allamand won the only debates and the rhetoric of his campaign was tinged with bitterness. Pinera, on the other hand, was aggressive in his sales pitch, promising to be a moderate president of both extremes of left and right and running an aggressive advertising campaign.

The prospect of a runoff between the outspoken Allamand and the mild-mannered Pinera, 68, has resonated with Chileans who want to change a dominant and polarizing left-right split and deliver results after more than a decade of malaise, economic malaise and scandal.

Pinera promises to elect a Congress that will work with him to quickly implement a new economy, govern in a more bipartisan fashion, and redistribute assets acquired during years of asset-stripping by his predecessor.

He comes from the conservative wing of Chile’s traditional ruling class, but he is espousing policies that are far more moderate than the current ruling coalition.

What do you think of the latest Gallup poll of the Chilean presidential election? Head to our poll page

Maduro’s Venezuela brings Venezuelans home for elections »

Read the full story.

Leave a Comment