Chile’s right snatched dozens of mayoralties on Sunday from the governing center-left coalition, in a boost to former leader Sebastian Pinera, the front-runner to lead the conservative coalition in next year’s presidential election.With over 99 percent of results counted on Sunday night in local elections, the right-leaning Chile Vamos pact emerged as the big winner. It won slightly more votes than President Michelle Bachelet’s left-leaning Nueva Mayoria coalition, despite the left going into the vote with a massive incumbent advantage.Conservative candidates won the majority of key swing cities, including central Santiago, a municipality inside the capital that is considered an electoral bellwether.“This reflects that residents are tired of incomplete promises,” the conservative mayor-elect of central Santiago, Felipe Alessandri, told Reuters. “Citizens have made their annoyance at the old practices of politicians clear, and they have made clear that they expect to be listened to.”
For many voters, Bachelet has gone too far in her attempts to reform the free-market economic model imposed under Pinochet, as the economy posts the slowest sustained growth in more than 30 years.For another group, she hasn’t gone far enough, while many others were disenchanted after a series of financing scandals tarnished the reputation of parties across the political spectrum.
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