Michelle Bachelet, central left coalition, won today the presidential elections in Chile, with a 53.49 % over her contender, entrepreneur Sebastian Piñera with a 46.50 % from the Central right corresponding to the official results. He could not override 16 years of left coalition government, where its outgoing president, Ricardo Lagos, also from the central left, is ending his period with more than 70% of popularity.
Today was the second round election; the first one took place on December 11.
President Lagos, in open TV phone called Michelle Bachelet to congratulate and offer her “all his support,” and praised her by saying “your capacity will allow us to have a great government” Bachelet answered “Chile has demonstrated its republican tradition, people value the work we have done all these years”. They agree to have a working breakfast meeting Monday morning at her home. These were her first words spoken after the election results.
Sebastian Piñera thanked the people and said that “in democracy one of the things is to hear the voice of the majority”. As a member of the Right- Center coalition, he is committed to follow through the promises of his campaign, and offered to be a constructive opposition.
The new president will take office March 11, 2006, in the National Congress of Chile in Valparaíso. Michelle Bachelet has not had yet her first public speech.
For photos of the election process click here. Further results of elections in Chilean government.
Bachelet spoke in front of a big crowd, which was constantly supporting her by cheering her name, waving flags in a very joyful mood. During her discourse, she emphasized that in her government there will be gender diversity, equality, new faces and backgrounds. In addition, Bachelet mentioned that by 2010 Chile will have and Equality Plan; where her main concerns will be to tackle issues such as public health and the provision of more work opportunities for all Chileans.
Furthermore, Bachelet stated that her approach to governing will be based in a participative government, with a strong alliance between society and politicians.
The new elected president mentioned some of her difficult emotional moments in her life “violence enter my life destroying my loved ones”. This might refer, to when under the Pinochet regime; the death of her father General of the Air Force, Alberto Bachelet, while in prison, her mother and her own imprisonment, and later exile.
Dr. Bachelet, former Minister of Health and Defense, during Lagos period, added that her difficult background has shaped her into the woman she is today; deeply respectful of equality and justice.
By the end of her speech, Bachelet was joined on staged by her family; three children and mother with whom the sang the national hymn.