Chile’s presidential elections were blown wide open on 19 November after former president Sebastián Piñera (2010-2014) became the first winner of the first round to fall shy of 40% since the transition to democracy in 1990. He will have to contest a second round against Alejandro Guillier, of the ruling leftist coalition Nueva Mayoría, who barely fought off a stiff challenge from newcomer Beatriz Sánchez, who benefitted from widespread voter disenchantment with established political parties reflected in one of the lowest turnouts in Chile’s history. Guillier who had looked down and out now has renewed hope. But the real point of interest was the outcome of the elections to the enlarged lower chamber of congress and senate which will acquire a very different complexion when new deputies and senators are sworn in.

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