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Pro-gay marriage Michelle Bachelet wins Chilean presidential election

The woman who won Chile’s presidential runoff election over the weekend wants her country to join Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay as South American countries that allow same-sex couples to marry
Michelle Bachelet
Photo by Michelle Bachelet Presidential Campaign

Chile’s first female president has been returned to office with 62% of the vote – the highest level of support for any leader since the country returned to holding democratic elections in 1989.

Michelle Bachelet was first elected president in 2006 and achieved an 84% approval rating before stepping down as Chilean law prevents presidents serving consecutive terms.

This time around Chileans had to choose between the moderate socialist Bachelet and Evelyn Matthei – a center right candidate with ties to both Chile’s former dictator Augusto Pinochet and outgoing President Sebastian Pinera.

Matthei ran opposing same-sex marriage and abortion while Bachelet has promised to legalize same-sex marriage and abortion in cases of rape or where pregnancy could risk a woman’s health.

Bachelet’s New Majority coalition achieved a slim majority in both houses of the Chilean Parliament but will need a super majority to pass some of the reforms she has promised – though it remains to be seen what, if any, effect this has on efforts to make Chile the fourth South American nation to allow same-sex couples to legally wed.

Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil already allow same-sex couples to wed.

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