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Chile Readies for Presidential Elections

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Piñera has an advantage of more than 20 percent over the ruling coalition New Majority candidate Alejandro Guillier. (Photo taken from http://www.emol.com).

According to surveys, right-wing coalition candidate Sebastian Piñera will be the favorite to win in next Sunday elections

The presidential and parliamentary elections in Chile will take place next Sunday, when the candidate from the right-wing coalition, Sebastian Piñera, will be the favorite to win, according to surveys.

The former president enjoys an advantage of more than 20 percent over the candidate from the ruling coalition New Majority, Senator Alejandro Guillier, but a second round might be needed on December 17.

In fact, if surveys carried out over the past ten months are accurate, Chile’s presidency will go again to the conservative tycoon Piñera, something that many take for granted, including politicians close to the current government.

The presidential and parliamentary elections are around the corner. The triumphal airs of the former president are evident, and his campaign team does not miss a chance to criticize the Michelle Bachelet administration.

Only two aspects might shake predictions. The previous abstention trend would change the political map if, as believed, voters’ decision tilts to the center-left.

The second issue, unlikely, is the opposition’s support for Piñera in the second round. But the truth is that the other seven candidates fear the victory of a businessman in the first round.

Marco Enriquez-Ominami, two-time presidential candidate, said that he will carry his campaign in Santiago this week with the expectation of shaking hands with at least 10,000 people.

The son of the assassinated leader of the Revolutionary Left Movement Miguel Enriquez said that according to some polls, he is barely two points behind Senator Guillier, so he expects to give a surprise and go against Piñera in the second round.

However, the center-left forces are divided, thus clearly favoring the former conservative president. A priori, Enriquez-Ominami and Senator Carolina Goic would defeat Guillier in the second round.

Both expect to be the protagonists: Enriquez-Ominami with the Progressive Party and Senator Goic with Christian Democracy.

Beatriz Sanchez, the candidate from the Broad Front (FA), a coalition of small left-wing parties and movements, follows Guillier in the polls at least ten percent behind. The list of candidates also includes outsiders, with left-wing Senator Alejandro Navarro (Pais) and Eduardo Artes (Patriotic Union), and the extreme right-wing politician Jose Antonio Kast.

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