Chile Socialists Name Ex-President Bachelet as Their Candidate

Michelle Bachelet, Chile’s first female president, was named today by the country’s Socialist and Partido por la Democracia parties as their candidate for a primary presidential election planned for June.

The slate of candidates includes Claudio Orrego, a former mayor of Santiago’s Penalolen municipality, who was chosen as the representative for the Christian Democracy Party; and Andres Velasco, Bachelet’s own former finance minister, who is running on an independent platform. The winner will represent the Concertacion coalition against the Alianza por Chile coalition in the presidential election Nov. 17.

Bachelet’s political platform includes tax reform, changes to the electoral system and the drafting of a new constitution.

“Chile deserves a fundamental charter born during a democracy,” Bachelet said in a speech today in Santiago. “A tax reform is necessary that allows the raising of more funds and where those that have more, contribute more.”

Chile’s current constitution was drafted and approved during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Bachelet, 61, governed between 2006 and 2010.

The pro-government Alianza por Chile will select its candidate on June 30. Laurence Golborne and Andres Allamand, both former ministers of President Sebastian Pinera, are in the running.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eduardo Thomson in Santiago at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sylvia Wier at

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