Michaela Jae Rodriguez
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Gay friendly Billionaire Leads Chilean Polls

Gay friendly Billionaire Leads Chilean Polls

Sebastián Piñera, a billionaire who courted the LGBT community as a presidential candidate in Chile, appears in the lead as the election heads to a run-off next month.

Piñera won the first round of the election on Sunday, but he failed to receive enough votes to avoid a runoff, now scheduled for January 17 against second-place finisher Eduardo Frei, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

“With nearly 60% of polling places reporting, Mr. Piñera had 44.2% of the vote, compared to 30.5% for his closest challenger and likely runoff opponent, Eduardo Frei, of the governing center-left Concertación coalition. Two other left-of-center candidates divided the remaining votes.”

Piñera pledged during the campaign to support civil unions for same-sex couples and to allow gay Chileans to serve in the military.

Both Piñera and Frei made appeals to LGBT residents of the conservative Catholic country. In the first video below, Piñera stands next to a gay couple and promises to fight for their rights. In the second video, a lesbian couple support former president and Christian Democrat candidate Frei.

Piñera and Frei, both in their 60s, faced an enthusiastic presidential challenge from independent center-left candidate Marco Enriquez Ominami, a young politician who last year introduced legislation to legalize civil unions. Ominami, 36, finished third with around 20% of the vote.

Tags: World, World

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