Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Campaign Ends, Piñera and Frei in Tight Race



Heading into Sunday’s presidential elections in Chile, the latest survey reports a statistical tie between Alianza candidate Sebastián Piñera (50.9 percent support) and Concertación candidate Eduardo Frei. (49.1 percent).

But the key to victory is likely to rest with the 7 perent of voters that are reported to be undecided. Voting in Chile is mandatory for all those registered.

Candidates finalized their campaigns late yesterday. Mr. Piñera did so by traveling 400 miles (600 kilometers) to three cities, with the message that he will be a president of unity. The Alianza candidate asked Chileans for an opportunity to show that he could establish a hard-working and honest government.

Mr. Frei’s last stop was in San Greogorio, one of Santiago’s poorest neighborhoods, where he emphasized that people should not “neglect democracy” by casting a blank vote and highlighted the achievements made under 20 years of Concertación rule. He stated this morning that the election will be decided by just a single vote at each polling location and thanked popular Chilean President Michelle Bachelet for her support.

Polls open on Sunday at 6:30 a.m. (EST) and begin to close at 2:30 p.m. (EST). The first official results are expected no later than 3:30 p.m. (EST).

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