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A Guide to 2018 Latin American Elections: Chile



In December 2017, Chileans elected Sebastián Piñera of the Chile Vamos coalition in the runoff against Alejandro Guillier, the candidate backed by the party of outgoing President Michelle Bachelet. Piñera’s four-year term will mark 16 years of a back and forth between Piñera-Bachelet administrations. Piñera took office March 11, replacing the last female head of state left in the region. 

The Congress, elected in the November 19 first-round vote, got its biggest party makeover in decades, electing the lowest percentage of incumbents since 1990. Falling just short of a majority in both houses of the bicameral Congress, Piñera's own coalition will have to work with 16 different parties to pass his reform agenda focusing on taxes, pensions, education, and immigration.

>> Find out about other elections in our main 2018 Election Guide.

Sebastián Piñera, president of Chile. (Photo: Alex Ibañez)

Chile Update: Piñera's First 100 Days in Office

June 19, 2018

Where does the second-time president stand when it comes to campaign promises?

El Salvador voting center

LatAm in Focus: Back to the Future in Chile and El Salvador?

March 08, 2018

NYU’s Patricio Navia talks about Sebastián Piñera’s return to Chile’s presidency, and AU’s Héctor Silva Ávalos tells us why the FMLN’s electoral loss is ARENA’s gain in El Salvador. 

Election Update: What Piñera's Win Means for Chile

December 18, 2017

As business mogul Sebastián Piñera gets a second stab at the presidency, we look at the implications for legislation, markets, and trade.

Alejandro Guillier and Sebastián Piñera in Chile

Chile Election Update: Four Takeaways from the First Round

November 20, 2017

Polls got it wrong and all eyes are on which way losing candidates’ votes will go when Alejandro Guillier and Sebastian Piñera compete in a December 17 runoff.  

LatAm in Focus: Economic Realities Facing Chile's Next President

LatAm in Focus: Economic Realities Facing Chile's Next President

September 27, 2017

Listen: Now heading candidate Sebastián Piñera’s economic platform, former Finance Minister Felipe Larraín talks tax reform, copper, and more.

Chilean presidential candidates Piñera, Guillier, and Sánchez

LatAm in Focus: What to Look for in Chile's Presidential Elections

November 15, 2017

Sebastián Piñera will likely win the November 19 vote, but turnout will be key for his rival to stand a chance in the runoff, says political scientist Patricio Navia.

presidential candidates in chile

Explainer: Chile's Top Election Issues and Candidates

August 23, 2017

Get background on the issues dominating the 2017 campaign trail and the presidential candidates leading the polls.

Voter turnout in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Paraguay, and Venezuela since 2000

Chart: A Deep Dive into Voter Turnout in Latin America

June 19, 2018

More people will vote in Brazil in 2018 than in all other Latin American countries combined.

2018 Latin American elections flags

A Timeline of 2017 and 2018 Elections in Latin America

November 16, 2017

Latin Americans will vote for nine new presidents in two years, along with more than 2,900 legislators.