HEADLINE Sebastián Piñera leads first round of the Chilean presidential election

HEADLINE

Sebastián Piñera leads first round of the Chilean presidential election

By Chen Xiaowei and Zhang Yuannan | People's Daily app

10:50, November 20, 2017

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Chile's opposition presidential candidate and former president, Sebastián Piñera, casts his ballot at a polling station during the presidential election in Santiago, Chile, Nov. 19, 2017. (Photo: Xinhua/Jorge Villegas)

Rio de Janeiro (People's Daily) - Chileans voted on Sunday to select a successor to Michelle Bachelet from eight presidential candidates.
Sebastián Piñera, who was president from 2010 to 2014, leads the first round of presidential elections.

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Staff members count ballots at a polling station in Santiago, capital of Chile, on Nov. 19, 2017. Former Chilean President Sebastian Pinera is leading the presidential election on Sunday, with 53.05 percent of votes counted, the Electoral Service of Chile (Servel) said. (Photo: Xinhua/Jorge Villegas)

With almost 95 percent of the ballots counted, the billionaire businessman received 36.6 percent of the votes, while his main rival, Alejandro Guillier, received 22.7 percent.
As no one has received more than 50 percent of the votes, a second round will be held between the two candidates on Dec. 17 and whoever receives the higher votes will be elected next year in March.
The world's top copper producer is experiencing the slowest four years of growth since the early 1980s. President Bachelet has received a sharply lower approval rating compared to her first term.
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Staff members count ballots at a polling station in Santiago, capital of Chile, on Nov. 19, 2017. Former Chilean President Sebastian Pinera is leading the presidential election on Sunday, with 53.05 percent of votes counted, the Electoral Service of Chile (Servel) said. (Photo: Xinhua/Jorge Villegas)

Representing the right-wing Chilean Vamos coalition, Piñera has proposed to cut taxes on businesses to promote growth.
Guillier, former TV anchor and the candidate from Bachelet's left-wing Nueva Mayoria coalition, has pledged to continue the reforms launched by the current president.
As opinion polls suggest, if Piñera wins, it would represent another shift to the right in South America after Argentina, Brazil and Peru.
Consecutive terms for presidents are not allowed in Chile's constitution, but re-election after skipping a term is acceptable.
Sunday's ballot also included congressional elections.

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