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Home >> World
UPDATED: 12:18, January 16, 2006
Profile: Michelle Bachelet, Chile's first woman president-elect
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Michelle Bachelet, candidate of the ruling Coalition for Democracy party, has won Chile's presidential run-off, with more than 97 percent of the vote counted, on Sunday, January 16, 2006. The following is a profile of the first woman president-elect in Chile's history:

Bachelet, who was born in Santiago on Sept. 29, 1951, is a pediatrician and public health expert.

She has also studied military science at Chile's National Academy of Strategy and Policy and the Inter-American Defense College in the United States.

Her father, Alberto Bachelet, was an air force brigadier general, who died in prison in March 1974 as a victim of torture for opposing the regime of former military ruler Augusto Pinochet.

In 1975, she and her mother, an archeologist, were held for about two weeks at Villa Grimaldi, a notorious torture center.

The two women later went into exile for almost five years in Australia and Germany, where Bachelet completed her medical studies.

Bachelet returned home from exile in 1979 and became a member of the Socialist Party.

She was named minister of health in March 2000 and became minister of defense in January 2002, the first woman to hold the post in the history of Chile and Latin America.

In September 2004, Bachelet left the government post for the presidential campaign. She has pledged to pursue the policies of outgoing President Ricardo Lagos, a fellow-socialist who won praise for his management of the Latin American country's economy.

Bachelet, a separated mother of three, will receive the sash of office from Lagos on March 11.


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