(Reuters) - Conservative frontrunner Sebastian Pinera and center-left Alejandro Guillier lead a crowded field of candidates in Chile’s presidential election on Sunday, widely seen as a referendum on the reforms of outgoing President Michelle Bachelet.
The following are the main policies supported by Pinera and Guillier:
- A billionaire businessman who served as president from 2010 to 2014, Pinera has promised to make Chile the first country in Latin America to achieve “developed nation” status in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a Paris-based club of wealthy nations.
- Pinera, the market favorite, would cut corporate taxes to increase investments and said his policies would double economic growth in his term.
- Pinera’s $14 billion, four-year spending plan includes an overhaul of Bachelet’s tax reform that would cost $2.7 billion in new investments in infrastructure and hospitals. Pinera said he would pay for his proposals by cutting “unnecessary” government spending and simplifying the tax code.
- Pinera’s $3 billion plan to revitalize Chile’s pension system, which is criticized as delivering small payouts, includes new subsidies to raise pensions for women and the middle class, as well as incentives to encourage workers to retire later.
- To help revive cash-strapped state miner Codelco, the world’s No. 1 copper producer, Pinera has committed to overturn a dictatorship-era law that transfers 10 percent of the company’s export sales to the military. He also wants Codelco to deploy a “realistic investment plan using existing resources” and to focus on existing assets rather than new projects.
- Guillier, a former journalist elected to the Senate in 2013, has pledged to diversify Chile’s economy away from the dominant copper industry. He wants to add value to commodities exports by processing more copper at home and give communities outside Santiago a stronger say in decision-making.
- Following the lead of ally Bachelet, Guillier has called for rewriting Chile’s constitution to formally recognize indigenous communities and to codify the rights of workers to collective bargaining and to strike.
- To boost payouts from the pension system, Guillier has proposed raising fiscal spending on pensions and introducing a new, mandatory contribution from employers. Guillier would also increase regulation and oversight of private pension fund administrators.
- Like Pinera, Guillier has called for the repeal of Codelco’s mandatory contribution to the military, but wants the state-run miner to stay active abroad to ensure it remains the world’s top copper producer. He has also signaled he would seek to maintain Codelco’s relations with workers that has spared the company the strikes that have hit private miners under Bachelet.
Compiled by Dave Sherwood; editing by Grant McCool