Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

Margaret Atwood: A Prophetic Writer in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

News media urged not to show Islamic State group videos

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is Valls crying wolf?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Prospect of separation from Scotland stirs sadness in England and Wales

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

No resolution in sight to Air France dispute

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Fighting back against facial recognition

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: UN takes over country's peacekeeping

Read more

DEBATE

Fighting the Islamic State group: What coalition against jihadists? (part 2)

Read more

Americas

Chile’s Bachelet to run for re-election

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-03-28

Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet on Wednesday announced her candidacy in presidential elections to be held on November 17. The country’s first female leader, who governed from 2006 to 2010, is widely tipped as favourite to win the race.

Popular former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet announced late Wednesday that she is running in November 17 election.

Bachelet, the country's first female president 2006-2010, made the announcement at a public event in a southern Santiago neighborhood where she grew up.

Polls show that Bachelet, 61, is the runaway favorite in the race, even though she first has to win a June primary election against three largely unknown candidates.

The ex-president arrived in Santiago late Wednesday after three years living in New York, where she became the first head of UN Women, an office that supports the rights of women worldwide, when it was created in 2010.

"We knew there were things still to be done" when her leftist coalition left office, Bachelet said, "especially to improve the levels of income disparity."

A socialist, agnostic, single mother, Bachelet was a strange choice to lead staunchly Roman Catholic Chile, but her informal political style and personal touch led her to being dubbed "the mother of Chileans."

She left office with an approval rating of 84 percent, despite criticism over the response to Chile's massive February 2010 earthquake, and left behind a legacy of mostly successful efforts to improve the lot of Chilean women.

Born in September 1951 in Santiago, Bachelet studied medicine and joined the Socialist Youth as a teenager.

Her father, an Air Force general, was a close adviser to president Salvador Allende, and was imprisoned and tortured after Augusto Pinochet toppled the socialist leader on September 11, 1973. Bachelet's father died six months later.

Secret police whisked Bachelet and her mother to a torture center in January 1975. The two women were eventually freed, and fled first to Australia and then to East Germany, where Bachelet completed her medical studies.

Bachelet, already the mother of a young son, returned to Chile in 1979 but was prevented from practicing as a doctor by the dictatorship.

She continued studying, specializing in pediatrics and public health and in 1984 gave birth to a daughter. Her third child, Sofia, was born nine years later.

Bachelet studied military strategy in Santiago and later in Washington, and in 2000 was appointed health minister with a mandate to reform the sector. She later became minister of defense.

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-03-28

COMMENT(S)