Billionaire Expected to Lead Chilean Vote
Posted on Dec 13, 2009
Sebastian Piñera, considered the clear front-runner in Chile’s presidential race, is a billionaire who owns a media outlet, a stake in an airline and even part of the esteemed Colo-Colo soccer club. If he’s elected, he will end nearly 20 years of leftist rule in the South American nation, but he will need more than 50 percent of Sunday’s vote to avoid a runoff. —JCL
A conservative businessman appeared on course today to win the most votes in Chile’s presidential election, potentially ending nearly two decades of leftist rule which have left the country stable and prosperous.
Sebastian Pinera, a billionaire who owns stakes in an airline and a media firm, said he would rejuvenate the economy but not radically shift Chile to the right. “Better times are coming to Chile,” he said.
Opinion polls gave him a wide lead over his nearest rival, Eduardo Frei, a former president who is running on the ticket of the ruling coalition, Concertación, which has been power since the end of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship in 1990.
flickr.com / Marisol Turres
Sebastian Piñera, above, is the leader in the race to replace Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who has a 77-percent approval rating but cannot run because of term limits.