Alejandro Guillier (L), presidential candidate for the "Nueva Mayoria" coalition, attends an event in Santiago, capital of Chile, on Nov. 19, 2017. With over 90 percent of the votes counted in Chile's presidential election, there's no outright winner. The two top runners -- former President Sebastian Pinera and leftist candidate Alejandro Guillier -- will face a runoff in December. (Xinhua/Str)
SANTIAGO, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- With over 90 percent votes counted in Chile's presidential election, there's no outright winner and the two top runners -- former President Sebastian Pinera and leftist candidate Alejandro Guillier -- will face a run-off in December.
Pinera is leading the race by gaining 36.63 percent of the vote, while his main rival Guillier, won 22.66 percent, followed by Beatriz Sanchez, leader of the leftist coalition Frente Amplio (Broad Front), with 20.34 percent, according to information released by the Electoral Service of Chile (Servel) late Sunday in the third tally of votes.
Chileans voted to elect a successor to President Michelle Bachelet. For an outright victory in the first round, the candidate must obtain more than 50 percent of the vote.
Unless there is a huge last-minute surprise, Pinera and Guillier will contest the presidency on Dec. 17.
Pinera, who already led Chile as president between 2010 and 2014, has positioned himself as the standard-bearer of economic growth and security. Guillier, the hope of the center-left, has vowed to carry on the legacy of Bachelet and push for further reform.
The voting results confirm pre-election polls, which have predicted a second round between Pinera and Guillier.
However, Pinera obtained a lower percentage of votes than projected, with most polls showing his support at around 44 percent, and some even predicting an outright win for him in the first round.
Despite the better-than-expected results, Guillier will have to fight hard to rally enough political support, likely by courting the supporters of fellow center-left candidate Carolina Goic and former Socialist deputy Marco Enriquez-Ominami.
However, the real decision-maker will likely be Sanchez and the Frente Amplio, a coalition of left-wing parties disenchanted with the main two parties and vowing to overhaul Chilean politics.
Sunday's election will also see 23 senators, 155 federal deputies, and hundreds of regional counselors picked.
The official final results will be published Monday morning local time.