Parliamentary Chamber: Cámara de Diputados


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  Cámara de Diputados

Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  14 December 1989

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats of the new bicameral Parliament provided for in the amended 1989 Constitution. General elections had not been held since March 1973, six months before the military coup d'Etat.

Background and outcome of elections:

  Subsequent to the general elections of March 1973, the bicameral Congress was dissolved in the wake of the military coup d'Etat of the following September. Thereafter, absolute power lay with the military junta, led by General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte. A new Constitution was adopted in 1980. Results of an October 1988 plebiscite opposed Gen. Pinochet’s remaining in office, and open presidential and congressional elections were thus scheduled for 1989.

During the year, Mr. Patricio Aylwin Azócar emerged as the sole presidential candidate of the centre-left Concertación de los Partidos por la Democracia (CPD), an alliance of 17 parties led by Mr. Aylwin’s Christian Democratic Party (PDC) and including several socialist parties. The election campaign was dominated by demands from both the CPD and right-wing parties for constitutional reforms, which were approved by popular referendum in July. In his program, Mr. Aylwin promised to confront critical economic and social problems (such as health, housing, the minimum wage and employment) facing the country, increase Chile’s exports and combat human rights abuses.

On polling day, Mr. Aylwin gained an absolute majority in the presidential race over Mr. Hernan Büchi Buc, a former Finance Minister who was supported by the Government and the two main conservative parties, National Renewal (RN) and the Independent Democratic Union (UDI), and over Mr. Francisco Javier Errazuriz, another right-wing candidate. In the congressional contests, the PDC topped five other parties in securing 40 Deputies and 13 Senate seats, but the opposition bloc lost its Upper House edge after the appointment of nine Senators by the outgoing military régime.

President Aylwin took office on 11 March and his Cabinet (mainly PDC and Socialist) was sworn in the same day. Gen. Pinochet continues as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces until 1997. On 20 March, the new Congress met for its inaugural session.

Round no 1 (14 December 1989): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 7,557,537
Voters 7,158,646 (94.7%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 361,524
Valid votes 6,797,122

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Votes %
Coalition for Democracy (CPD): 3,499,713 51.49
- Christian Democratic Party (PDC) 1,766,347 25.99
- Party for the Democracy (PPD) 778,501 11.45
- Radical Party (PR) 268,103 3.94
- Humanist Party (PH) 52,225 0.77
- The Greens (LV) 14,942 0.22
- Independents 619,595 9.12
Democracy and Progress Pact: 2,323,581 34.18
- National Renewal (RN) 1,242,432 18.27
- Independent Democratic Union (UDI) 667,369 9.82
- Independents 413,780 6.09
Unity for Democracy: 360,601 5.31
- Partido Amplio de Izquierda Socialista (PAIS)* 297,897 4.38
- Radical Socialist Democratic Party (PRSD) 1,330 0.02
- Independents 61,374 0.91
Independent candidate 43,194 0.64

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
Coalition for Democracy (CPD): 69
- Christian Democratic Party (PDC) 38
- Party for the Democracy (PPD) 16
- Radical Party (PR) 5
- Humanist Party (PH) 1
- The Greens (LV) -
- Independents 9
Democracy and Progress Pact: 48
- National Renewal (RN) 29
- Independent Democratic Union (UDI) 11
- Independents 8
Unity for Democracy: 2
- Partido Amplio de Izquierda Socialista (PAIS)* 2
- Radical Socialist Democratic Party (PRSD) -
- Independents -
Independent candidate 1

  * Subsequent to the elections, the PAIS party was dissolved since it did not obtain the required 5% of the valid votes, and its two successful candidates thus became independents.

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 113
Women: 7

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Copyright © 1989 Inter-Parliamentary Union