Pinera, Sanchez dominate primary polls in Chile

SANTIAGO – Former President, Sebastian Piñera, and journalist, Beatriz Sanchez, in their respective right and left coalitions, are dominating the primary elections in Chile, counted more than 70 percent of the polling stations.

Although both figures are favorite at polls, the votes confirm Piñera by the center-right coalition ‘Chile Vamos’, and Sanchez by the Frente Amplio (FA).

The billionaire, who already had a presidential term from 2010 to 2014, remained since his departure from La Moneda Palace as a strong critic of the management of his successor, Michelle Bachelet, who has the support of the New Majority (NM) coalition.

The government coalition, apart from some key items by Bachelet, has not remained cohesive and in fact, one of its parties, the Christian Democratic (DC) Party, decided not to take part in the primaries.

Carolina Goic (DC) and independent Alejandro Guillier, both senators, did not fight in this mechanism and both will go to the first round of the presidential elections in November without the unity of the NM.

Goic, with very few figures according to opinion polls, hinted that the DC would support the right-wing rival in the runoff, while Guillier picks up supporters across the nation to validate his candidacy.

All this panorama benefits Piñera, seen by an important sector of the public opinion and the business sector to which it belongs, as a presumed savior of the economy, particularly suffered by the fall in copper price in the world market.

About 13.5 million Chileans were eligible to vote, for the first time in history 21,000 of them abroad.

The Sunday primary elections, tarnished by Chile’s defeat in the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia, nevertheless had an acceptable participation of the voters who, in numbers yet to be confirmed, were higher to the same event held in 2013.

The official statistics of the Electoral Service (Servel) will be announced in the next few hours.