After troops and police had mounted an all-night guard on polling stations, there was complete calm as Chileans went to the polls yesterday (Friday) to elect a new President for a six-year term.
GV Mapocho polling station
SV Soldiers guarding door
TV VIP arrives, through crowd & into booth
TV VIP enters booth
TV VIP leaving booth
CU VIP puts paper into ballot box
TV Tomic arrives (2 shots)
TV Tomic towards booth & enters (2 shots)
TV Tomic out of booth & shaking hands (2 shots)
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Background: After troops and police had mounted an all-night guard on polling stations, there was complete calm as Chileans went to the polls yesterday (Friday) to elect a new President for a six-year term. Among the VIPs voting in the capital, Santiago, was ruling Christian Democratic Party candidate Radomiro Tomic. But the result went to the world's first freely elected Marxist leader.
The order two candidates contesting the election were veteran politician Salvador Allende, making his fourth attempt to transform Chile into a Marxist state, and ex-President Jorge Allessandri, an independent with rightwing support.
As the count got underway, Signor Tomic's hopes gradually faded. The final results produced a narrow victory for Signor Allende, giving him the mandate to form Chile's first freely elected Communist-based government.
But Signor Allende did not secure the outright majority necessary for him to succeed outgoing President Eduardo Frei. So Congress will decide on October 24 whether it will respect the result or choose runner-up Jorge Allessandri for the Presidency.