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Presidential election in Chile; second round to take place on January 15

Today was a very exiting day for Chile, in which more than 6 million Chileans voted for president, senators and representatives.

At the end of 6 years of Ricardo Lago´s government, Michelle Bachelet (both of the “La Concertación” coalition) won the first round for presidency with 45.87% with a lead of 1 million votes over Sebastian Piñera with 25.48% Joaquin Lavín at 23.25% (both from the “Alianza Por Chile” coalition). Tomás Hirsch, also from “La Concertación,” which gained a majority in both the Seante and the House of Representatives, received 5.37% of the vote.

At 10:00 PM, one hour before the final vote count, president Lagos, in a televised public speech, thanked to Chilean population for the voting turnout.

President Lagos also noted that the current binomial voting system is not entirely democratic. In the current system, senators and deputies must achieve at least double the vote of their competitors in order to win an election.

Nevertheless, for the final results for the presidential election, to know who will govern for the next four years new period, we will have to wait for the second round of voting on the 15th of January 2006.

These results correspond to the 96, 72 % of the total votes, for detailed figures click here.

Here is a summary of the post-election opinions of a pair of other Chilean bloggers.

Rafael IV agrees that the results were as expected, but as only two candidates will stand for the second round, that it is not obvious which way the votes previously for the other candidates will be cast. He also emphasises that the candidate Hirch won in the Antarctica.

The blog “El Pehuen” shows more quantitative details regarding the election results, details of the campaign, the costs including candidate Pinera´s investment map, and some of the future campaign changes (such as the elimination of the binomial system).

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