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Salvador Allende's Daughter

    • Senator for the Socialist Party Isabel Allende takes her seat in the Senate in Valparaiso, March 11, 2014.

      Senator for the Socialist Party Isabel Allende takes her seat in the Senate in Valparaiso, March 11, 2014. | Photo: Reuters

    Senator Isabel Allende reiterated her intention to seek the presidency in 2017.

    Isabel Allende, the daughter of former President Salvador Allende, announced her intention to seek the presidency in 2017.
    “Today, I want to invite all Socialists to work collectively, united and organized, in the development of program proposals we want for the future of Chile,” she said.
    Allende, a current senator representing the Socialist party, made the announcement before a gathering of leaders of her party and said she will first seek their approval to run.
    She will then have to compete in a primary to represent the New Majority coalition, which is comprised of centrist and center-left parties.
    In the primaries, she will face off against former President Ricardo Lagos, who said earlier this month that he will run again for the country's highest office in 2017.
    “The great challenge is to give continuity to and improve the reforms the country has implemented, addressing the difficulties that exist,” said Lagos.
    Allende made the announcement on the 43rd anniversary of the military coup that ousted her father — the first democratically elected Marxist in the Americas — and instituted a brutal dictatorship. 
    Current President Michelle Bachelet was elected into office representing the New Majority coalition, though a series of scandals around politicians financing their campaigns with illegal contributions and allegations of dubious business dealings by her daughter-in-law have sapped Bachelet's political capital.
    Bachelet has also faced consistent protests by students, who charge that her education reforms fall short of their demands. She was elected partially due to a commitment to establish free, quality post-secondary education. The president has also faced mass protests calling for the end of the country's private pension system.
    Whoever is chosen to represent the New Majority coalition will likely compete against conservative former president Sebastian PiƱera, who ruled from 2010 to 2014.
    He has yet to officially announce whether he will run for reelection, though he has said he could make an announcement on the matter early next year.
    Will a number of upstart leftist parties, there will also likely be at least a third candidate in the general election.


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