Chilean Elections go to Second Round

Via the BBC:  Chile election: Bachelet and Matthei go to second round

Left-wing candidate Michelle Bachelet has won the first round of voting in Chile’s presidential election.

But with most of the votes counted, Ms Bachelet has conceded that she has failed to reach an outright majority and avoid a run-off.

She took nearly 47% of the vote. Her main rival, Evelyn Matthei, who was a minister in the centre-right government of Sebastian Pinera, got 25%.

A second round of voting will take place on 15 December.

Full results can be found here.

Given the margins, the likely outcome of the second round is pretty clear.

The backgrounds of the top two voter-getters is quite the microcosm of Chile’s traumatic past:

Ms Bachelet and Ms Matthei are the daughters of air force generals, once friends, who found themselves on opposite sides of the political divide once Gen Pinochet came to power.

As children in the 1950s, they were neighbours and used to play together on the airbase where their fathers worked.

Under Gen Pinochet, Evelyn Matthei’s father, Fernando, rose up the ranks to run a military school.

Michelle Bachelet’s father, Alberto, who worked for the Socialist administration overthrown by General Pinochet, died of a heart attack in 1974.

An investigation concluded that the 51-year-old general probably died of heart problems aggravated by torture sessions at the military academy.

A judge ruled earlier this year that General Matthei had no knowledge or involvement in the torture.

FILED UNDER: Latin America, Quick Takes, World Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Michelle Bachelet’s father, Alberto, who worked for the Socialist administration overthrown by General Pinochet, died of a heart attack in 1974.

    An investigation concluded that the 51-year-old general probably died of heart problems aggravated by torture sessions at the military academy.

    His heart attacked that bullet with great abandon, literally swallowing it whole.

  2. Rafer Janders says:

    The BBC calls it “torture” while US news consumers have to make do with the phrases “enhanced interrogation sessions” or “harsh questioning”…..