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The return of conservative businessman Sebastián Piñera to the Chilean presidency in March 2018 is best understood as a necessary course correction in Chile’s democratic development. The election of Piñera, who had been president from 2010 to 2014, was not the crushing rebuke of the left that his conservative backers had vainly hoped for or, as some might misconstrue it, a sharp turn to the political right. Piñera’s coalition may still harbour a diminishing coterie of supporters of the late dictator Augusto Pinochet, but this election, the seventh consecutive national vote since the end of the dictatorship, proved – if proof was even needed – the strength and durability of Chilean democracy today.

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