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Chile heads to presidential runoff (Ld)

 
Santiago, Nov 22 (IANS) The top two candidates from the first round of the presidential election in Chile are set for a runoff as they failed to garner over 50 per cent of the required votes.

According to the preliminary results released on Sunday night by the Electoral Service of Chile, Jose Antonio Kast of the Republican Party has received 28.06 per cent of the vote, followed by Gabriel Boric of the Approve Dignity bloc with 25.5 per cent, reports Xinhua news agency.

More than 86 percent of the ballots case the election held earlier in the day have been counted.

Whoever wins the second round will have a four-year term from 2022 to 2026 to lead a country hit by high inflation, the Covid-19 pandemic, and social unrest.

Aside from the two top candidates, Franco Parisi of the People's Party won 13.07 per cent of the vote, and Sebastian Sichel with 12.52 per cent.

Voting centres reported high turnout throughout the day, despite high temperatures across most of the country and lengthy waiting time.

The Sunday elections will also choose deputies, senators, and regional councillors.

Incumbent President Sebastian Pinera had called on citizens to vote "with conviction, knowing that we are living in difficult times, but with unity we will overcome them and move forward".

--IANS
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