SANTIAGO – Chilean President Michelle Bachelet rejected on Monday the accusations of conservative candidate and former President Sebastian Piñera that many previously marked ballots found their way into the elections held last Nov. 19.
“Chile enjoys international prestige for its faultless, transparent elections,” the head of state tweeted.
Piñera complained during a radio interview this Monday that in the recent elections, voters were handed paper ballots previously marked in favor of ruling party candidate Alejandro Guillier or leftist Beatriz Sanchez.
“What I saw on election day and was announced on every television channel and radio station is that many people were handed a ballot that was already marked in favor of Guillier or Sanchez,” Piñera said.
The former president said that what happened “was not a mistake by the Electoral Service,” but rather “somebody got wise at the polling stations and marked the ballots before the voters had a chance to mark their choice.”
“Citizens’ complaints were reported in the media, so the facts are public for anyone who wants to know what happened,” he added.
Piñera obtained 36.6 percent of the first-round voting against 22.6 percent for ruling party Sen. Alejandro Guillier. The two will vie for the presidency again in the runoff election on Dec. 17.
Guillier called Piñera’s accusations “slander” and showed that the rightist candidate is “frankly doing badly.”
“They show the right’s desperation after the first round when faced with the honest truth,” Guillier told the local press.
Sanchez, meanwhile, slammed Piñera’s “ambition for power,” which “cannot justify his lack of respect” for the thousands of election officials who worked at the polls during the first round of voting.