Chile election: Sebastian Pinera projected to win
Conservative former president Sebastian Pinera has taken a clear lead in Chile’s presidential run-off elections, according to preliminary results.
With more than 82 percent of the ballots counted on Sunday night, electoral authorities said Pinera had secured 54.1 percent of the votes.
His centre-left rival, Alejandro Guillier, had garnered 45.49 percent.
The announcement of the initial results sparked scenes of jubilation at Pinera’s campaign headquarters in Chile’s capital, Santiago.
|Pinera supporters celebrate after hearing the results [Ivan Alvarado/Reuters]|
The election went to a run-off after Pinera, a billionaire businessman who led the country from 2010 to 2014, took 36.6 per cent of the vote in last month’s first round.
Guillier came second with 22.7 per cent.
More than half of Chile’s eligible voters, some 6.5 million people, did not participate in the election’s first round.
Turnout has been low since mandatory voting was scrapped in 2012.
Pinera will replace incumbent Michelle Bachelet, a socialist who is Chile’s first female president.