Meet Michelle Bachelet, Chile’s Once and Future President

World

On the evening after her landslide victory in Chile’s presidential election, Michelle Bachelet, the once and future leader of the country, stood before 10,000 cheering supporters and made a broad promise for her second term. “The moment has arrived,” Bachelet said. “If I’m here it’s because we believe that a Chile for everyone is necessary. It won’t be easy, but when has it been easy to change the world?”

Chile’s constitution limits the President from running for successive terms, so in 2011, Bachelet stepped down after four years in power. She presided over one of the most successful, stable economies in Latin America, passed several popular pieces of social legislation and left office with an 84% approval rate. But despite winning the presidential runoff in a landslide — Bachelet defeated conservative rival Evelyn Matthei 62% to 37% — things may not be so easy the second time around.

This presidential election…

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