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Michelle Bachelet wins presidential election in Chile

December 16 2013, 21:10

Michelle Bachelet after voting at a polling station in La Reina commune, near Santiago de Chile. Photograph: Felipe Trueba/EPAMichelle Bachelet after voting at a polling station in La Reina commune, near Santiago de Chile. Photograph: Felipe Trueba/EPASocialist Michelle Bachelet, who was Chile's president from 2006 to 2010, cruised to victory in Sunday's presidential runoff, reports.

With more than 93% of votes counted, she won 62.3% of votes, election officials said. Evelyn Matthei of the conservative Independent Democratic Union party garnered 37.7% of votes and conceded the election.

"I shall be a president for everyone in Chile," Bachelet said during a congratulatory phone call from President Sebastian Pinera.

She will take over from him in March.

In her victory speech, Bachelet promised to improve education and work for equality. She thanked her supporters.

"Thanks to the millions of people who, today, have demonstrated with their vote that they believe in me -- just like I believe in you," she said.

Bachelet was the first female president of Chile and left office with high approval ratings.

In 2010, she was tapped to head U.N. Women, a United Nations agency created to promote gender equality around the world.

Chilean voters first cast ballots last month, but no candidate secured enough votes then to declare victory.

The South American country's constitution requires a presidential candidate to garner more than 50% of votes to win. Presidents are prohibited from seeking immediate re-election.

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