Partial results reveal Chile’s opposition wins local elections

October 24, 2016 2:00 pm

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet attends to vote during local elections in Santiago on October 23, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)

Partial results of local elections show ’s opposition is slightly leading in local polls, which are viewed as a litmus test for President Michelle Bachelet’s center-left coalition.
With almost 100 percent of the vote counted, conservative coalition Chile Vamos (Let’s go Chile) was leading with 38.53 percent against 37.07 percent for the governing New Majority alliance.
Some 14 million voters cast their ballot on Sunday to choose 346 mayors, plus city councils.
Conservative candidates won the majority of key swing cities, including Santiago, where the president lives.
“This reflects that residents are tired of incomplete promises,” said the conservative mayor-elect of central Santiago, Felipe Alessandri.
 “Citizens have made their annoyance at the old practices of politicians clear, and they have made clear that they expect to be listened to,” he added.
The vote is considered as an unofficial opening of next year’s presidential election as Bachelet, ’s first woman president, has been under fire amid a corruption scandal.
The 65-year-old president admitted her coalition’s defeat in the election.
“We are going to redouble our efforts to respond to the demands and dreams of our citizens … this is a very serious message, not just for our coalition but all political leaders in the country,” she added.
Bachelet served a first term from 2006 to 2010. She made a return in 2014 and was elected with 66 percent of the vote.
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