At stake in this election:
- The office of President of Chile
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: President Sebastian PIÑERA
- Head of Government: President Sebastian PIÑERA
- Assembly: Chile has a bicameral National Congress (Congreso Nacional) consisting of the Senate (Senado) with 38 seats and the Chamber of Deputies (Camara de Diputados) with 120 seats.
Description of electoral system:
- The President is elected by absolute majority vote through a two-round system to serve a 4-year term. Presidents are allowed to serve unlimited non-consecutive terms.
- In the first round of voting, Michelle BACHELET won the most votes, but fell short of obtaining an absolute majority. BACHELET received 46.67 percent of the vote in the first round, in comparison to Evelyn MATTHEI, who received 25.01 percent of the vote. The run-off election will be held on December 15, 2013. BACHELET previously served as president from 2006-2010.
Main Candidates in the First Round of the Presidential race:
- Candidate: Michelle BACHELET[i]
Party: Socialist Party of Chile / Partido Socialista de Chile (PS)
- Candidate: Evelyn MATTHEI[ii]
Party: Independent Democratic Union / Unión Demócrata Independiente (UDI)
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 17,216,945 (July 2013 est.)
- Registered Voters: 13,388,643 (November 2013)[iii]
[i] BACHELET has been endorsed by the New Majority / Nueva Mayoría coalition. BACHELET previously served as President from 2006-2010.
[ii] MATTHEI has been endorsed by the Alliance / La Alianza coalition. The original candidate of the UDI, Pablo LONGUEIRA resigned his candidacy in July 2013, citing health reasons.
[iii] An electoral reform law passed in Jan. 2012 automatically registered all Chileans over the age of 18 to vote, increasing voter registration by 55 percent.