by John Heinz
Optimism and enthusiasm abound in Chile ahead of the historic Presidential elections which seek to democratically elevate a head of state to this coastal South American nation. The current field of presidential hopefuls includes 9 individuals though polls indicate a clear front runner: former president Michelle Bachelet of the Socialist Party of Chile.
The Santiago Times reported on October 1st that the upcoming presidential debates to be held on October 9th and 29th in advance of the election, will feature all 9 candidates after Bachelet insisted she would not participate unless all candidates be allowed to debate. Bachelet has gained wide appeal due to her determination to serve as a reformer.
Chile is Rising
As of October 7th, Anthony Esposito of Reuters reported the presidential candidate’s intention to reform Chilean tax codes in an effort designed to pay for wide reaching reforms to Chile’s education sector. Efforts like these have galvanized tremendous support for Bachelet as demonstrated by her overwhelming lead in all monitored polls ahead of November 17th elections. October 5th of this year served as the 25 year anniversary of the referendum which ushered in a new era of democracy in Chile. The upcoming election represents the first time Chileans are not mandated by law to vote as well as the first time that registration is automatic.