SANTIAGO – Conservative Sebastián Piñera has won the first round with only 36 percent of the votes, but failed to reach the 50 percent required to become Chile’s president.
The 67-year-old billionaire businessman, who was president from 2010 to 2014, will now face Socialist contender Alejandro Guillier in the second round on 17 December.
While Piñera ran on a platform promising economic reforms, Guillier promises to consolidate government reforms.
The 64-year-old won 22.7% of the vote. He is a former journalist and the candidate from President Michelle Bachelet’s left-wing Nueva Mayoría coalition.
Bachelet is unable to seek re-election under Chile’s constitution.
Not far behind Guillier was left-wing candidate Beatriz Sánchez with 20.3% of the vote. Sanchez secured the vote of many Chileans who were seeking more change in government.
Sánchez has not yet said whether she will endorse Guillier but she has been scathing about Piñera.
In all, eight candidates were standing in the presidential race.
On Sunday, voters were also electing all 155 members of the lower house and half of the senate.
Chileans will be going back to the polls next month to elect a new president.
In 2010, he became Chile’s first conservative leader since the country’s return to democracy, ending two decades of uninterrupted centre-left rule.
Video courtesy: AlJazeera