Allende's granddaughter wins first race

2012-10-29 11:04
Citizens vote during the municipal elections in Santiago. (File, AFP)

Citizens vote during the municipal elections in Santiago. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Santiago — Maya Fernandez Allende, the granddaughter of Chile's fallen socialist President Salvador Allende, won her first major political race on Sunday as leftist parties regained lost ground in municipal elections nationwide.

The election featured millions of citizens voting for the first time after Chile greatly expanded its electorate, although absenteeism was also high.

Fernandez, aged 41, defeated incumbent Mayor Pedro Sabat of the centre-right National Renovation party in Nunoa, a district of the capital.

A socialist and veterinarian by trade, she served on the local council in the district after growing up in Cuba, where her mother Beatriz lived in exile after President Allende died during General Augusto Pinochet's 1973 coup.

The left's biggest victory was in central Santiago, where Carolina Toha defeated Pablo Zalaquett of the ultra-conservative Independent Democratic Union.

Toha served as former President Michelle Bachelet's spokesperson, and her father, Allende's vice president, died after being jailed and tortured.

First chance to vote

Toha had sided with the students protesting for free, quality education in Chile, while Zalaquett ordered police to crack down on their demonstrations.

"I will be a mayor for all," Toha said in her victory speech. "Everyone will be listened to; no one will be excluded."

For many members of Chile's student protest movement, which burst onto the scene last year with a series of massive demonstrations, this was their first chance to vote.

The left also won in the capital's upper-class Providencia district, where community leader Josefina Errazuriz ended retired Colonel Cristian Labbe's 16-year-hold on the mayor's office.

Labbe led Pinochet's domestic intelligence agency during the dictatorship and has tried to bring Pinochet's disciples back from the political wilderness.

Centre-right politicians held onto five other major cities, including Vina del Mar, Valparaiso, La Florida, Las Condes and San Bernardo, but they lost southern Concepcion, where the mayor was sharply criticised for her handling of the earthquake aftermath.

The end of an era

In all, Chileans decided 345 mayor's offices and 2 224 local council seats nationwide.

With more than 90% of the vote counted, the ruling right-wing alliance was winning 37% of the seats, while parties of the divided left were winning 43% overall.

Former President Ricardo Lagos called Sunday's election, the first since Chile added five million new voters to the rolls by automatically registering all adults, the end of an era.

By making voter registration automatic, Chile increased its electorate from 8.1 million to 13.4 million in the nation of 17 million. But with voting no longer mandatory, many stayed home, dismaying those who had hoped that so much social upheaval would lead to bigger changes.

The old electorate had moved increasingly to the right as ever-fewer Chileans bothered to register and vote. After Sebastian Pinera's 2009 presidential win ended 20 years of centre-left rule, his centre-right alliance agreed to expand the electorate only if the left agreed to make voting optional.

Some analysts say the left's concessions were a mistake, noting that wealthier people are more likely to vote even when it's not mandatory. On Sunday night, the turnout appeared to confirm the left's worst fears: In some districts, absenteeism reached 80%.

Pinera called the absenteeism "a warning sign" for Chile's democracy and pledged that his government will do all it can to increase participation in next November's presidential elections.

- AP
Read more on:    salvador allende  |  chile
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Job: Senior Java Developer, Digital Production Agency, R25k – R70k

Cape Town Southern Suburbs
Initiate International
R25 000 - R70 000 Per Month

Training Facilitator (EE Only)

Cape Town
SET Recruitment Consultants
R350 000 Per Year

Information Integration Specialist (SSIS/SSRS)

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Communicate Cape Town IT
R25 000 - R27 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off all TV Series!

Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is one of those days where the more positive and optimistic you are the more opportunities you seem to attract....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.