Bachelet takes first round in Chile’s presidential race

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Chilean presidential candidate for the New Majority coalition, Michelle Bachelet, celebrates at the party's headquarters in Santiago, on November 17, 2013, after winning the first round of the general electionsSocialist Michelle Bachelet handily won a first round of Chile's presidential race, with voters putting her on track to replace the country's conservative leader following a runoff in December. Bachelet, Chile's first woman president 2006-2010, is now eyeing a non-consecutive second term as leader of the South American nation with the highest per capita income. With 99 percent of the vote counted Bachelet had nearly 47 percent against 25 percent for conservative Evelyn Matthei, Chile's Electoral Board said. However Bachelet, who is seeking to succeed conservative billionaire President Sebastian Pinera, did not reach the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff, so a second round of balloting is set for December 15.