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.