Pinera Wins Chilean Presidency

Conservative billionaire Sebastian Pinera became president-elect of Chile after his main opponent Eduardo Frei conceded defeat. The win ends two decades of center-left rule.Sebastian-pinera

Frei raised the white flag after 60% of results show that he is trailing Pinera in the run-off 52%-48%.  Pinera had a commanding lead during the first round over Frei.

The billionaire’s win over Latin America’s most stable economy and world’s top copper producer will help start shift Chilean politics, and some say the whole South America’s as well, to the right.

Pinera vowed a tough law-and-order program and to use his business know-how to strengthen further the economy.

Outgoing President Michelle Bachelet is barred by law to run for consecutive re-election. She steps down March 11, 2010. She turns over the reins of power with high approval ratings. Frei was president from 1994 to 2000.

The last time a political right held the presidency in Chile was during the time of the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990).

“After 20 years I think a change will be good for Chile. It’s like opening the windows of your home to let fresh air come in,” said Pinera after claiming victory.