Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sebastián Piñera has won recent elections in Chile, becoming the first conservative president in 52 years. Former president and candidate Eduardo Frei, meanwhile, conceded losing the elections.

With 99% of votes counted, official returns showed Piñera with 52% of the vote and Frei with 48%. The new president will succeed the outgoing president, Michelle Bachelet. She cannot run for a second consecutive term.

Piñera, a Harvard-educated economist, lost to Bachelet in the last presidential vote in 2006. He owns a television station, a soccer team and a stake in the Chilean LAN Airlines.

“Better times are coming for Chile. There is a great new phase on the way. After 20 years I think a change will be good for Chile. It’s like opening the windows of your home to let fresh air come in,” Piñera said. He will take power in March.

Meanwhile, Frei, in his concession speech, commented that “Chile is much better than the country we received in 1990. We will be guardians of liberty and of all our social victories.”