6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Chile’s 2017 Presidential Election: What It Means for Chile and for Latin America

Chile’s second-round presidential election on December 17 had been projected to be close, yet center-right candidate Sebastián Piñera won a second term with approximately 55 percent of the vote, beating his opponent by almost 9 percentage points. Piñera of the Chile Vamos coalition previously served as president, from 2010 to 2014, and has promised a renewal of strong economic growth in Chile during his second term.

How will Piñera govern and what will his priorities be? In the near to mid-term, it would appear to be difficult to implement the president-elect’s platform without appealing to more moderate parties in the Chilean Congress. Given the lack of a clear majority, governing effectively and through coalition will be a major challenge.

Piñera’s election reflects not only a rightward shift in Chile, but also in other South American countries, notably Argentina and Peru.

On Tuesday, January 9th, 9:30 a.m.—11:00 a.m., we held a conversation on the outcome of the recent Chilean election and how Piñera’s agenda will shape domestic and regional policy trends. 



Dr. Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser
Associate Professor
Universidad Diego Portales

Dr. Jennifer Pribble
Associate Professor
University of Richmond

Cynthia J. Arnson

Director, Latin American Program
Woodrow Wilson Center