Chile elects its first woman president

SANTIAGO, Chile, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Chilean President-elect Michelle Bachelet has become the first female leader of the South American nation.

Just hours after balloting ended Sunday, polls showed the left-wing Bachelet had defeated conservative candidate Jose Pinera, winning 53.5 percent of the vote.


A former Defense minister and single mother, the 53-year-old Bachelet said she would continue the successful economic policies of her predecessor Ricardo Lagos, though would work to reduce joblessness and greater social justice among Chileans.

Bachelet joins the growing ranks of socialist or left-wing leaders in Latin America, including Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, and more recently Bolivian President-elect Evo Morales, who became his country's first indigenous leader in its 180-year history.

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