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Why Have Chileans Become Disenchanted With Piñera's Bloc?

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Q: Voters turned against the conservative bloc of President Sebastián Piñera in Chile's municipal elections on Oct. 28. The conservative Alianza bloc won 37 percent of the votes for mayoral and city council positions, while the leftist Concertación garnered 43 percent. Conservatives also lost control of areas including central Santiago, the capital's Providencia district and the city of Concepción. Turnout was only 41 percent in the election, which was the first in decades in which voting was not mandatory. Why have voters become disenchanted with conservatives despite the country's brisk economic growth? What do the local elections foreshadow for next year's presidential race? Did the repeal of obligatory voting affect the municipal election results, and does it have implications for
future elections?

A: Peter Siavelis, professor of political science and director of the Latin American and Latino studies program at Wake Forest University: "The stunning defeat of ...

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