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Chile's municipal elections normally held
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08:44, October 27, 2008

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Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said Sunday the country's municipal elections were held normally without any major events.

Chilean municipal elections started Sunday at 7 a.m. local time(1000GMT) and the first voting booths closed at 4 p.m. local time (2000GMT). The counting of the first ballots began thereafter.

"Our elections have been always efficient, clean and transparent, allowing each one the right to choose who we want to represent the municipalities during the coming four years," Bachelet told reporters.

Bachelet confirmed the reports from Interior Minister Felipe Harboe that the electoral process was adequate and without any major events throughout the country.

The elections chose 345 mayors and 2,156 councilors, from almost 11,000 candidates, more than 8 million Chiles were registered to vote.

The current law stipulates that the voting booths must be open during nine hours of voting.

The first votings in Santiago showed a highly favorable tendency to the rightist candidate Pablo Zalaquett from the Independent Democratic Union (UDI).

Chilean electoral authorities said a first official report on election result could be given around 7:30 p.m. local time (2230GMT) on Sunday.

The main political forces are ruling party Democratic Concentration which won 47.89 percent of voting and opposition Alliance for Chile with 37.68 percent during the municipal elections in 2004.

Meanwhile, opposition presidential candidate Sebastian Pilera said "the most important is to choose 345 mayors each from one of the districts, and of course we wait with a lot of tranquility and trust the voice of the people."

Pilera, who is a businessman, is the best located at the pools to replace incumbent president Bachelet for the next term and forecasted that his sector will "surpass the 40 percent on councilors and a bigger amount on the mayors voting."

Sunday's elections in Chile are of great significance because the different political forces consider it a precursor of the possible outcome of the presidential and parliamentarian elections in 2009.

Source:Xinhua



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