Politics

Presidents Of Chile Since 1973

These men and women have led Chile since the military-led junta of 1973 and new constitution of 1980.

The President of Chile is both the head of government and state for the Republic. The institution of the presidency is a essential for political stability in Chile. Much has changed in the role and powers bestowed on the presidency over the course of Chile's history. For example, a change in constitution limits their terms to four years from the previous six years without the option for immediate re-election. The official seat of the president is the Le Moneda Palace in Santiago, the capital city. The President must be at least 35 years of age and be a citizen of Chile.

Presidents Of Chile Since 1973

Augusto Pinochet

Pinochet was the president from the 1973 to 1990. His regime was characterized by persecution, forced disappearances, corruption and extensive looting of the public resources. He had a poor human rights record which alienated him from some of his earlier allies. His regime was responsible for pursuing his detractors to foreign nations and executing them. Such was the fate of his former Commander-in-Chief Carlos Prats among others. Pinochet was credited for turning around the economy of the country in the late 1970s through the advice of the country's top economists. The economic revival came to be known as the Chilean Miracle. During his regime, the country achieved the lowest levels of crime particularly due to the repressive nature of his leadership.

Patricio Aylwin

He governed the country for four years running from 1990 through to 1994. He was a Christian Democrat, being one of the founding members of the party. Taking power after the brutal dictator, he is credited with the elimination of the inequality that existed in the country.

Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle

His reign was from 1994 to 2000. He was the other founding member of the Christian Democrat party. His regime was more or less a continuation of the leadership of his predecessor. During his reign, he had to deal with a biting drought that led to massive power rationing throughout the country as Chile is hugely dependent on hydroelectric power. He also had to contend with the arrest of former President Mr. Pinochet in London. He later ran for election in 2009 but was defeated.

Ricardo Lagos

He was the President from 2000 to 2006. He had been one of the ardent critics of Pinochet and openly opposed his desire to remain in power. Being a Socialist, he brought to an end the reign of Christian Democrats. During his reign, he dealt with massive election scandals and the deteriorating relationships with the neighboring countries, especially Bolivia. He is criticized for acting against the ideals of environmental preservation having ratified a treaty towards containing the climate change.

Michelle Bachelet

She became the first female President of Chile as a Socialist. Her first reign was from 2006 to 2010. Later she accepted to run and won the elections in 2014. She is the incumbent president. During her reign came the death of the former dictator, Mr. Pinochet. There was an intense clamor for greater levels of equality regarding secondary education. Towards, the end of her reign, there was a massive earthquake that severely affected the country. Her government was criticized for slow response to the situation.

Sebastián Piñera

He was the President from 2010 to 2014. There was massive expenditure in rebuilding the infrastructure following the 2010 earthquake during his reign. The economy also grew consistently during his reign even though inequality persisted. His critics point to his failure to sell off his public enterprises that brought about conflict of interests.

Achievements and Failures

The presidency has enabled Chile to attain political stability since the end of Pinochet's reign. However, they have never been able to solve the biggest problem of inequality in the country. To this date, a significant disparity exists between the political class and the ordinary citizens.

Presidents of Chile Since 1973Term(s) in Office
Augusto Pinochet
1973-1990
Patricio Aylwin
1990-1994
Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle
1994-2000
Ricardo Lagos
2000-2006
Michelle Bachelet (Incumbent)2006-2010; 2014-Present
Sebastián Piñera
2010-2014

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