Chile. For the first time in Chile’s history, the presidential election was decided between two female candidates. The Socialist Party’s Michelle Bachelet was re-elected to the coalition New Majority by a devastating victory in the second round of December 15 with 62% of the votes cast against 38% for the Conservative government coalition’s Evelyn Matthei. Already in the first round, which was held on 17 November, Bachelet received almost his own majority with 47% of the vote, while Matthei came in second with 25%. With the victory in December, Bachelet, who was president of 2006-10 and Chile’s first female president, became the first woman in Latin America to be re-elected.
According to Countryaah, the most dramatic feature of the election campaign was that the right-wing coalition’s original candidate, Pablo Longueira, resigned at the end of July because of depression and was quickly replaced by Matthei, who is Bachelet’s childhood friend. In addition to declining figures for the government, this significantly contributed to its poor end result.
In the congressional elections held at the same time as the first round of the presidential elections, the left coalition also advanced strongly, winning 11 seats in the House of Representatives at the expense of the right coalition. Otherwise, the presidential campaign was dominated by issues related to tax and educational reforms as well as a new constitution and the political system as a whole. Most notable during the election campaign was Bachelet’s decision to include the Communist Party in its electoral coalition. The right accused her of turning left, but Bachelet countered that the Chilean left is no longer the same as before. In both rounds, turnout was worryingly low; in the first half of November only just under 50%.
In the middle of the September 11 election campaign, the 40th anniversary was marked by the 1973 military coup that began the 17-year military dictatorship under Augusto Pinochet. In their public appearances, representatives of the government and the right-wing coalition emphasized the importance of leaving history behind, while the left pointed to several unresolved issues left by the dictatorship.
Bachelet visited Cuba in February 2009, where she met with the country’s president Fidel Castro. This was the first state visit in 37 years. Castro had previously visited Chile under Allende’s government. Bachelet urged the United States to cancel its illegal economic blockade of Cuba.
Sebastián Piñera of the right-wing coalition «For Change» won the presidential election in January 2010 with 51.6% of the vote against Eduardo Freis 48.4%. He was posted to the post in March 2010. Throughout his political career, Piñera has been linked to the extreme right wing and during the dictatorship directly to Pinochet. He is a businessman and the first billionaire to become president of the country. His election campaign cost him $ 13.7 million. US $. A limited investment out of his $ 2.4 billion fortune US $. Wealth grew by DKK 200 million. US $ during his first year in the presidential office. It was the first time in 50 years the Chilean right wing won an election, and the victory has led the United States to have a new close ally on the continent, with most other countries in political opposition to the superpower.
On February 27, 2010, southern Chile was hit by a violent earthquake that, with a strength of 8.8 on the Richter scale, killed at least 500 Chileans. The epicenter of the quake was in the Pacific Ocean, 11 km southwest of Curanipe and 100 km from Chile’s second largest city of Concepción.
In May 2010, Chile became the first Latin American country to join the OECD. At its inclusion, the country with 20.2% of GDP was the country in the OECD with the lowest tax revenue. The country continues to have one of the highest economic growth rates in Latin America – after the transition to democracy in the 1990’s. But copper still accounts for over 50% of export revenue. Mining is the country’s most important economic sector.
In June 2011, student protests erupted with the education system in Chile. Only 43% of Chilean children attend a public elementary school, while the rest attend private, and almost all higher education is private. The country is distinguished by having one of the world’s most unequal education systems. The requirements therefore focused on the democratization of the education system and greater government involvement. The right-wing government gave only a few concessions and again responded with extensive suppression of the demonstrations met with water cannons, tear gas and weapons. At most June-October demonstrations, children and youth were killed or injured by police bullets. The demonstrations were very extensive with up to DKK 1 million. participants. In August, the national organization CUT joined the protests. Over ½ million workers were sent on strike. The most prominent leader of the protests was Camila Vallejo, who was the spokeswoman for the Chilean student organization FECh and at the same time a member of the youth communists. The right-wing hatred, therefore, was particularly directed at PCCh. Already on August 4, police attempted to storm PCCh headquarters. On September 12, 30 right-wing thugs stormed headquarters, attacked employees, destroyed computers and inventory. At the November 2013 parliamentary elections, Camila Vallejo was elected with 43% of the vote in her district. This was the largest margin of vote in the Chilean elections.