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For Chile's Left, Bachelet's Legacy Not Enough

Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010

Chile's left-wing Concertación coalition might very well lose the presidency for the first time since the country's return to democracy in 1990. But don't blame outgoing President Michelle Bachelet.

With record-high approval ratings, Bachelet would be a shoe-in for a second term, if not for the constitutional prohibition on consecutive re-election. Instead, as the country's first woman president and, before that, its first woman defense minister, Bachelet will undoubtedly be remembered for breaking the gender barrier to Chile's most powerful positions. She also appointed equal numbers of men and women to her cabinet when she took office in 2005. Subsequent cabinet restructuring reduced the proportion of women slightly, but the strong presence of women in Chile's cabinet remains notable. ...

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