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Chile to hold presidential run-off on January 17

RIA Novosti

14:56 14/12/2009 MOSCOW, December 14 (RIA Novosti) - Chile will hold a second round of voting in its presidential election on January 17, after none of the candidates garnered more than 50% in the first round, national media reported.

The run-off will be held between center-right candidate Sebastian Pinera, a billionaire businessman, who garnered 44.03% of the vote, and his rival from the governing center-left coalition Eduardo Frei, with 29.62% of the vote. Frei was Chile's president from 1994 to 2000.

Independent lawmaker and former film director Marco Enriquez-Ominami received 20.12% of votes. Communist Jorge Arrate trailed with 6.21%.

If Pinera wins the second round, he will become the first right-wing leader since dictator Augusto Pinochet stepped down in 1990.

Sunday's election took place in relative calm, with about 17,000 police officers guarding 388 polling stations. Turnout figures have not been released.

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