- Title: CHILE: Frei and Enriquez-Ominami declare candidacies for President.
- Date: 13th September 2009
- Summary: ENRIQUEZ-OMINAMI WITH HIS FAMILY
- Embargoed: 28th September 2009 19:58
- Location: Chile
- Country: Chile
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA71QRN66DPYJMBLY5EXYTENLVS
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Two of Chile's leading presidential contenders officially declare their candidacies, running second and third behind conservative Sebastian Pinera in recent polls.
Two of Chile's leading contenders officially declared this week their candidacies for the December presidential election.
On Thursday (September 10) left-leaning Marco Enriquez-Ominami, a former film producer, announced officially that he was running. The 36-year-old wants to boost the state's role in education and healthcare and raise royalties on mining companies.
Enriquez-Ominami pulled out of the ruling party, but cited current president, Michelle Bachelet, in his speech.
"Here and now begins a new page of history. Here and now - the conservatives should listen well. The change of Bachelet continues, here the change continues, here is progressivism," he said.
On Saturday (September 12) ruling party candidate Eduardo Frei also officially registered.
Frei previously served as President from 1994 to 2000. He is expected to keep Bachelet's prudent economic policies, which have helped give Chile one of Latin America's most stable economies.
"Because I am working with strength and with courage as I have done - because I believe that this country deserves to live better and I believe that my daughters and my grandchildren live in a country of freedom, in a country of greatness, in a country where the state assumes its responsibilities," said Frei.
Recent polls continue to show conservative candidate Sebastian Pinera holding his lead over Frei and Enriquez-Ominami. While Pinera maintains 37 percent, Frei's support dropped two percentage points to 28 percent. Meanwhile, Enriquez-Ominami is making a strong third place showing, gaining four points to take him up to 17 percent.
Still, Pinera is short of the 50 percent needed to win outright without a run-off vote.
If the leading candidate fails to win more than half of the vote on the Dec 13 election , he would have to face the second-place rival in a January run-off.
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