Ex-president Sebastian Pinera wins Chilean election

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-18 10:53:20|Editor: Chengcheng
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SANTIAGO, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- Right-wing candidate and former president Sebastian Pinera was elected president of Chile for a second time on Sunday.

With 99.93 percent of ballots counted, Pinera held 54.58 percent of the vote against center-left candidate Alejandro Guillier, with 45.42 percent, Chile's electoral agency said.

Pinera, 69, was Chilean president between 2010 and 2014.

Speaking in the evening alongside Guillier, Pinera struck a gracious tone. The president-elect said he had great appreciation and affection for Guillier.

"We have had the privilege of working together in the past and I am certain we will work together in the future," he said.

Saying he had read Guillier's campaign program very carefully and agreed with some of the ideas, Pinera added that they would discuss differences "with a republican spirit."

"Chile needs agreements more than clashes ... dialogue and collaboration, as that is how countries progress on solid foundations," he said, maintaining the conciliatory tone.

He admitted to having been surprised in both rounds of the election. "In the first round, we got less votes than we thought, and in the second round, more than we thought," he said.

As Pinera's victory was reported in the press, Guillier recognized his defeat and congratulated Pinera in a concession speech.

"On this day, we can all feel proud, for our democracy, our republic and our electoral system," he said.

"I also want, tonight, to congratulate my contender, Sebastian Pinera, the new president of the republic. I have already called him to congratulate him on his impeccable and solid triumph," he said.

The election day was relatively calm, despite a slight scuffle between Pinera's supporters and opponents when he went to vote, and some voters trying to throw eggs at Guillier in the morning.

Despite fears of a low turnout, long waiting lines were seen at major polling stations in Santiago, including the national stadium, where people had to wait over 45 minutes to cast their ballots.