Elections and the Military

Mary Helen Spooner

in The General's Slow Retreat

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780520256132
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948761 | DOI:
Elections and the Military

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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

Chapter.  7950 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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