Chile: Touchy-feely Bachelet preaches atypical warcry
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Chile: Touchy-feely Bachelet preaches atypical warcry

Leading presidential candidate promises orthodox finances.

Bachelet: on course
for a nicer kind of

Chile’s leading presidential candidate, leftist Michelle Bachelet, does not preach change, the archetypal mantra of the aspiring Latin American leader. That would be a tough sell since outgoing president Ricardo Lagos is a fellow socialist and has a 60% approval rating. Instead, she speaks of making Chile “friendlier, nicer, more loving”. Well ahead in the polls and expected to win the December elections, the 54-year-old doctor could be forgiven for feeling there is little work to do after Chile’s 15 years of economic growth, stability and prosperity in a region better known for its political turmoil. Indeed, Chile’s elections are a ho-hum affair and Bachelet, a former defence minister who will be Chile’s first female president if she wins, is likely to be the fourth consecutive leader from a centre-left coalition that has welcomed free-market economic policy. “There’s an unspoken agreement in Chile that the best politics are by a centre-left administration with centre-right economics,” says a senior government aide.

A continuation of centre-right policies will sound sweet for investors.

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