Chile holds municipal elections today
Around 13,404,084 Chilean voters will vote today to elect 345 mayors and 2,224 councillors in elections across the country. The election will be a first in that the number of voters will rise from around 8 million to 13.4 million as a result of a change in the law which allows for automatic voter enrolment.
Two main blocs are contesting the elections, the Alliance which is made up of President Sebastián Piñera’s ruling centre right National Renewal (RN) party and the Independent Democratic Union (UDI). In 2008 this bloc won 861 seats.
The other bloc consists of the opposition centre left Social Democratic Radical Party (PRSD), Christian Democratic Party (PDC) and the Party for Democracy (PPD). In 2008 a bloc led by the Christian Democrats won 677 seats and another bloc which included the other two parties won 393 seats.
Students are urging people to boycott the elections. There has been a stand-off between students and the government over reforms to tertiary education over the past year with many student demonstrations taking place in the capital.