Weekly Report - 07 December 2017 (WR-17-48)

CHILE: Piñera scores own goal ahead of second round

The campaign for the second round of the presidential election on 17 December is shaping up as one of the most polarising in Chile’s recent history. Sebastián Piñera, the presidential candidate of the right-wing coalition Chile Vamos, claimed this week that his run-off opponent, Alejandro Guillier of the left-wing coalition Nueva Mayoría, had benefitted from electoral fraud in the first round, along with the third place candidate Beatriz Sánchez. His comment backfired. Sánchez, hitherto mealy-mouthed, accused Piñera of stooping unacceptably low and announced that she would vote for Guillier. This could swing the election away from Piñera. Two separate opinion surveys published this week had already suggested the second round was a dead heat. Guillier, meanwhile, has shifted to the left and started employing rhetoric reminiscent of pre-coup Chile in the 1970s.

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