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Sender: owner-imap@webmap.missouri.edu
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 97 15:55:36 CST
From: rich@pencil (Rich Winkel)
Organization: PACH
Subject: Weekly News Update on the Americas #411, 12/14/97
Article: 24079

/** reg.nicaragua: 34.0 **/
** Topic: Weekly News Update on the Americas #411, 12/14/97 **
** Written 12:16 AM Dec 15, 1997 by wnu in cdp:reg.nicaragua **
ISSUE #411, DECEMBER 14, 1997
339 LAFAYETTE ST., NEW YORK, NY 10012 (212) 674-9499

Legislative Elections in Chile

Weekly News Update on the Americas, #411
14 December 1997

Elections were held on Dec. 11 in Chile for all 120 members of the Chamber of Deputies, and for 20 of the 38 senators who are chosen by popular vote. The ruling Democratic Concertation coalition of President Eduardo Frei maintained its majority among voters, but his party, the Christian Democratic Party (PDC), lost votes. The combined parties of the Concertation got 50.5% of the votes, down from 54.7% in the 1993 parliamentary elections. The PDC got 23%, down from 28.9% in 1993, while the progressive Concertation bloc made up of the Socialist Party and the Party for Democracy (PPD) won 23.5%. The far rightwing opposition Union for Chile--made up of the conservative Independent Democratic Union (UDI) and the neoliberal National Renewal Party--won 38.9%, up from 31.8% in 1993. [La Republica 12/13/97 from AFP] A record 13.7% of the total votes cast were void--up from 8.64% in 1993-- and 4.24% were blank. [Notimex 12/12/97]

The ruling coalition will have 20 senators, down from 21; the rightwing coalition will have 17 senators, up from 16. In the Chamber of Deputies, the Concertation will have 69 seats; the Union for Chile will have 46, down from 49. While the ruling coalition has maintained its majority, it will still be unable to make changes to the Constitution, such as ending the system that allows Pinochet to select a number of appointed lifetime senators. [Clarin 12/13/97]

When asked for whom he had cast his vote, army chief and former dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet joked that he had voted "for Gladys Marin," leader of Chile's Communist Party (PC). At the polling place where Pinochet voted, Marin got seven votes. [LR 12/12/97 from EFE] A combative leader whose husband was disappeared under Pinochet's regime, Marin won a deputy seat with 15% of the vote. [Clarin 12/13/97] The PC as a whole won 6.47% of the vote nationally, compared with 4.99% in 1993. [El Diario-La Prensa 12/13/97 from EFE]

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