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The General's Slow RetreatChile after Pinochet$
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Mary Helen Spooner

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520256132

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520256132.001.0001

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Elections and the Military

Elections and the Military

Chapter:
(p.97) Five Elections and the Military
Source:
The General's Slow Retreat
Author(s):

Mary Helen Spooner

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520256132.003.0006

As Chile approached its first presidential election since Pinochet left office, the general mood was unmistakably optimistic, as if the country wanted to leave its polarized political past behind. The Concertación party's candidate was Eduardo Frei Ruiz–Tagle, son of the former president Eduardo Frei Montalva (1964–79), a civil engineer and Christian Democrat who had won his party's presidency after defeating several rival factions. Buoyed by the Aylwin government's economic successes, Frei easily defeated the right-wing presidential candidate, Arturo Alessandri, a businessman who was the nephew of yet another former Chilean president, Jorge Alessandri (1958–64), Frei's father's predecessor. The Frei government may have thought it politically expedient not to challenge Pinochet's position as army commander. However, it did eventually manage to remove a former junta member from his post as police commander.

Keywords:   presidential elections, Chile, Eduardo Frei Montalva, Augusto Pinochet

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