Chile elects first woman President

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Michelle Bachelet at a TV debate in October 2005

Michelle Bachelet became Chile's first elected female President Sunday when her rival, Sebastian Piñera, conceded defeat after trailing by six points. Bachelet, a member of the center-left group Concertación, previously served as both Health Minister and Defense Minister.

Outgoing President Ricardo Lagos called it a "historic day" and phoned Bachelet to congratulate her.

At 21:30 local time (00:30 UTC of Monday), Bachelet has said:

"Who had ever thought, my friends? Who thought 20, 10 or 5 years ago that Chile would elect a woman as a President? That became possible, because the citizens wanted it to. Thank you, Chile, thank you for your millions of votes. (...) My commitment as President of Chile will be to walk along you one more stretch in this big Avenue of Freedom we have been opening"

Ms. Bachelet supporters are reportedly celebrating her victory.


The following results are based in the third official bulletin delivered at 20:50 local time (23:50 UTC), corresponding to the 99,71% of the total votes.

Candidate Coalition Votes %
Miguel Juan Sebastián Piñera Echenique Alianza por Chile 3 227 395 46.51%
Verónica Michelle Bachelet Jeria Concertación de Partidos por la Democracia 3 712 587 53.49%
Total valid votes 6 939 982 97.17%
Null votes 154 314 2.16%
Blank votes 47 708 0.66%
Total votes 7 142 004 99.71%
Total voters enrolled 8 220 897
( ~12.9% abstention)


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