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  • 21.10.2018

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Billionaire conservative wins Chile vote
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21.10.2018

Billionaire conservative wins Chile vote

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Billionaire conservative Sebastian Pinera has won Chile's presidency, with his centre-left opponent Alejandro Guillier conceding the election as Chile followed other South American nations in a political turn to the right.

With 98.44 per cent of the ballots counted, Pinera, 68, had won 54.57 per cent in the run-off vote, to 45.43 per cent for senator Guillier, a wider than expected margin in a race that pollsters had predicted would be tight.

Months of campaigning exposed deepening rifts among the country's once bedrock centre-left, an opening former president Pinera leveraged to rally more centrist voters around his proposals to cut corporate taxes, double economic growth and eliminate poverty in the world's top copper producer.
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Many Chileans had viewed the election as a referendum on senator Guillier's policies, which focused on reducing inequality by making education more affordable and overhauling the tax code.

Pinera painted Guillier, a former TV anchorman and current senator, as extreme in a country known for its moderation, and likened him to Venezuela socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

But Pinera's own conservative agenda may also struggle, at a time when efforts by his ideological allies in Brazil and Argentina to reduce fiscal deficits by cutting spending have faced political opposition and sparked protests.
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