Pinera wins first round of Chile poll but fails to avoid run-off

Pinera wins first round of Chile poll but fails to avoid run-off
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Conservative front runner Sebastian Pinera came out top on Sunday in Chile’s presidential election but failed to avoid a second round run-off.

The 67-year-old billionaire polled just over 36 percent – fewer that had been expected.

His nearest rival, 64-year-old Socialist Senator Alejandro Guillier came second with just over 22 percent.

The two will meet again on December 17 with pollsters forecasting a more closely fought contest than previously forecast.

Both candidates say they will keep the country’s long-standing free market model but Pinera who previously led Chile between 2010-14 is pushing economic growth policies while his rival is proposing tax and education reforms.

Incumbent leader Michelle Bachelet is unable to seek re-election under Chile’s constitution.

In all, eight candidates were standing in the presidential race.
On Sunday, voters were also electing all 155 members of the lower house and half of the senate.

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