Chileans Welcome First Woman President
The Chileans have elected their first woman president:
Socialist and separated mother Michelle Bachelet won elections on Sunday to become the first female president in traditionally conservative Chile with a victory that underscores the left's growing hold on Latin America.
With almost all polling stations tallied, Bachelet, from Chile's ruling centre-left coalition, took 53 percent of the vote while opposition candidate Sebastian Pinera had 47 percent, the government Electoral Service said.
"Who would have thought 20, 10, five years ago, that Chile would elect a woman president? Thank you for inviting me to lead this voyage," Bachelet told thousands of jubilant supporters outside her electoral headquarters in downtown Santiago.
Bachelet, 54, a medical doctor who was imprisoned and tortured during the 1973-1990 Augusto Pinochet dictatorship before living in exile in the former East Germany and Australia, will be the fourth consecutive president from the centre-left alliance that has run Chile since 1990.
The former defence minister is only the second woman elected to head a South American nation, and the first who is not the widow of a former president. She is set to be sworn in on March 11.