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Restoration of Democracy

Pinochet’s military dictatorship came to an end after he decided to hold a referendum in 1988. He felt confident in that referendum, and felt that the people would say ‘yes’ to his continuing power. But the people of Chile had not forgotten their democratic traditions. This led to Pinochet losing his political as well as his military powers.

The brutal and cruel dictatorship regime came to an end. A medical doctor and a moderate socialist, Michelle who was also the first woman to be a Defence Minister in Latin America was elected as the President of Chile in January 2006.



A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. The referendum may be conducted for the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment, a law, the recall of an elected official or simply a specific government policy. The referendum can be considered a form of direct democracy.


A sample referendum ballot


Michelle Bachelet - A Short Biography
Verónica Michelle Bachelet Jeria was born on September 29, 1951. She is the current President of Chile and is the first woman to hold this position in the country's history. She won the 2006 presidential election with 53.5% of the vote.

Michelle Bachelet is a moderate Socialist. She advocated free market policies, while increasing social benefits to help reduce the country's gap between the rich and poor. Michelle Bachelet is a surgeon, pediatrician and epidemiologist with studies in military strategy.

She served as the Health Minister and Defense Minister under President Ricardo Lagos. She is a mother of three children. She speaks Spanish, English, German, Portuguese and French. Forbes magazine ranked her as 27th in the list of the 100 most powerful women in the world, for the year 2007.



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