SANTIAGO – Conservative candidate and former President Sebastian Piñera and the incumbent center-left government’s candidate, Sen. Alejandro Guillier, will face off in a runoff for Chile’s presidency, according to the results of Sunday’s election.
Piñera secured 36.63 percent of the votes compared to Guillier’s 22.66 percent, with leftist Broad Front candidate Beatriz Sanchez surprisingly garnering 20.29 percent in the ballot.
“We are happy because tonight we achieved a great election result and, above all, because we have opened the doors which will lead us to better times,” Piñera said.
His rival Guiller also struck a defiant note, saying the vote had shown that a majority of Chileans were in favor of change.
“We will win in December (...) Chile wants another path and has expressed it in the vote,” he said.
The biggest surprise in Sunday’s poll was the impressive result for Sanchez, who echoed Guillier’s sentiments when she highlighted that Chileans had resoundingly voted for change.
“We made history today because Chilean politics changes from this day forward,” the journalist and leader of the Broad Front said.
Despite the Broad Front’s unexpectedly high tally, their result was not enough to take the party into the second round of elections, which will be held in December.
Sunday’s vote was the first election held under the country’s new electoral system, which replaced the one that had been in place since the country regained democracy in 1990.
Some 14.3 million voters, including about 40,000 Chileans living abroad, were eligible to cast ballots, the latter for the first time ever in their countries of residence.