chile electionLeftist candidate Michelle Bachelet was the clear winner in Chile’s first round of presidential election, as she will have to wait until a second round voting next month to seal her victory.

First-round victory

With nine candidates running, the vote was split and Bachelet, seeking her second term as president fell short of the 50% she needed for first-round win. She only took almost 47% of the vote, while her main rival, Evelyn Matthei got 25%.

Most opinion polls, on the other hand, had showed victory for Bachelet in the first round.

Sunday’s election in the country went ahead without major incidents.

Students, however, who for years have been conducting protests demanding educational reform, occupied Bachelet’s campaign headquarters.

Top reforms

A moderate socialist by conviction and a physician by training, Bachelet has vowed 50 reforms if she would return to power.

Her major policy is a 25% increase in corporate taxes to pay for education reforms that include a free higher education.

Chile is one of the richest nations in Latin America, but millions have been protesting to push for a wider distribution of wealth and better education.