After winning Chile's runoff election by an overwhelming margin, former President Sebastián Piñera will head to the presidential palace, La Moneda, in 2018.
With nearly all of the ballots accounted for, Piñera, who represents the right-wing "Chile Vamos" coalition, obtained more than half of the votes, while his center-left opponent Alejandro Guillier, a senator and prominent TV journalist, received 45.4 percent of the vote.
"Piñera is a gentleman and a businessman who knows about the economy and how to manage a country," said Maria Isabel Reyes Muñoz, a publicist in Chile. "He will bring security to the country and employment will rise. He is cultured and educated and will improve our health system and decrease crime."
Unlike other countries, Chile does not allow the re-election of the sitting president, but does allow former presidents to hold the office again after someone else has done so.
"I voted for Piñera because he already has experience in government and is also a businessman that I think will serve the economic situation of Chile well," said Camila Reyes, a geriatric doctor living in Santiago, Chile. "I also think Guillier's proposals sounded very nice but he had no way to financially cover them. He has no where to get the money to pay for them. He is a journalist and is very inexperienced for something as big as being president."
Some Chileans voted for Guillier during the first round, but then changed their vote during the second round.
"During the first round I voted for Guillier because in Chile there are serious problems in terms of social rights, as is the case with quality higher education that is also free, health issues and pensions," said Nicole Ríos, a political science student at Piñera's alma mater, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. "But in the second round I decided to vote for Piñera. I changed because unfortunately the economic model of Chile is neoliberal and the fact that Piñera is an entrepreneur and has a stronger economic action plan than Guillier will I think attract investment and while it does not ensure work on social issues, it implies that there will be a more stable economy and in the long term that can pave the way for social change."
One of the things Piñera wants to do in his first 100 days in office is install a simpler tax system. He proposes gradually reintegrating the business tax with the taxes paid by citizens and converging the business tax rate to the average levels of OECD countries. Piñera plans to ultimately decrease corporate taxes in his bid to grow Chile's economy.
For Piñera, it is also essential to recover a healthy level of investments made in Chile. To achieve that, the former head of state has said he will push forward with an "investment shock."
"We will give the best of ourselves to fulfill our mission, to not disappoint our compatriots and for Chile to recover the path of progress and development. I want to ratify the commitment that accompanied us throughout the campaign, a commitment to the unity of all Chileans," Piñera said during his victory speech last Sunday.
The multi-billionaire turned politician, who led the country from 2010 to 2014, is largely credited with introducing credit cards in Chile through his company Bancard, which he founded in 1976. Piñera holds a PhD in economics from Harvard.
Analysts say his support from business groups and markets propelled him to victory.
Piñera's victory last week came after a first round win by Piñera in November where he received 36.6 percent of the vote, while Guillier came in second with 22.7 percent of the votes.
A candidate needed 50 percent of the vote to win in the first round. But since none of candidates received more than 50 percent of the votes from the Chilean electorate, a second round was held to decide the presidency.
More than half of Chile's electorate, a total of 6.5 million people, did not participate in the first round elections.
With Piñera's win, Chile has become the latest Latin American country to move to the political right. But as with Argentina and Brazil where right-wing led governments are finding it difficult to move forward with their agenda, analysts say Piñera will face a tough time rolling back on popular social reforms.