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Weekly Report - 04 July 2013 (WR-13-26)

Bachelet powers past pretenders with promise of radical reform

Former president Michelle Bachelet (2006-2010) crushed her closest challengers in Chile’s first-ever primary elections on 30 June. She is now in a formidably strong position to return the centre-left Concertación to the La Moneda presidential palace next March after its short spell in opposition. The scale of Bachelet’s victory is the obvious factor in her favour heading into November’s presidential contest, but she also stands to gain from the outcome of the primary election in the ruling Coaliciόn por el Cambio, which was narrowly won by Pablo Longueira, of the ultra conservative Unión Demócrata Independiente (UDI). Longueira benefited from a high turnout in wealthy areas of Santiago and will struggle to overcome residual distrust of his past association with the Pinochet dictatorship.

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