Chile: Are the Parties Over?

Issue Date July 2010
Volume 21
Issue 3
Page Numbers 107-121
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This article describes Chile’s 2009 presidential and congressional elections, in which the Concertación, a center-left political coalition in office since 1990, lost power. We discuss how billionaire Sebastián Piñera became the first president elected from the right since 1958. Within Latin America and beyond, its healthy economy and political stability has made Chile a “model” developing country. However, two noteworthy challenges remain: high and enduring social inequality as well as increasing political discontent and citizen apathy. We draw possible implications from the turn to the right for addressing both challenges.