President Sebastian Piñera’s alliance defeated in local elections


President Sebastian Piñera’s conservative Alianza bloc suffered a major setback in Sunday’s municipal elections, winning just 37.47% of the vote and losing some key mayoralties. The left wing opposition Concert of Parties for Democracy or Concertacion won 43.65% of the vote. In the last elections in 2008 the conservatives won 40% to the left’s 38%.

The election was a first, allowing automatic voter enrolment and increasing the number of potential voters from 8 million to 13.4 million; but it didn’t seem to make any difference with just 45% of eligible voters bothering to vote.

Reuters reports that the Alianza bloc lost control of key areas such as central Santiago, the affluent Providencia district and Concepcion, Chile’s second-largest city.

The left won 168 of the 345 municipalities being contested whilst the right lost control of 23 municipalities dropping from 144 to 121.

With a presidential and general election expected in late 2013 the results are bad news for the right wing and suggest that the left may win back power after a break of four years. President Piñera is now expected to hold a reshuffle within the next few weeks.

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