Ex-leader favored in Chilean primary

SANTIAGO, Chile — Michelle Bachelet, former president, will face off against Pablo Longueira, former economy minister, in November’s election after Chileans chose the two candidates in the country’s first ever presidential primary on Sunday.

Bachelet won 73 percent of the votes and will lead the center-left New Majority coalition. She is the daughter of a general tortured to death for opposing dictator General Augusto Pinochet’s 1973 military coup. Bachelet was arrested along with her mother.

Longueira, who was close to Pinochet, won 51 percent of the vote to lead the center-right Alliance for Chile bloc.


Bachelet, 61, spent the past two years heading the UN agency for women after ending her 2006-2010 presidency with high popularity ratings.

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She is the frontrunner in the Nov. 17 presidential election and vows to use a second term to fight Chile’s income inequality, change the Pinochet-era constitution, and reform taxes and education.

‘‘Today’s triumph is not the victory of one person, but of millions of Chileans,’’ Bachelet said in a speech.

Longueira, 55, is a civil engineer and one of the founding members of the conservative Independent Democratic Union that supported Pinochet’s dictatorship.