Chilean Opposition to Control Senate

Crisis in the ruling party deepens
President Ricardo Lagos admitted that his party, Concertacion, is now the first minority in Congress' upper chamber after Senator Nelson Ivila finally left the coalition. Now, the right wing forces dominate the Congress and threat Government's stability towards the last three years in office.

"Opposition is now the major force in the Senate, because we were tied in 24, and one of our Senators left the party. That's the truth and I will have to make do with this situation during my last three years in office", said Lagos to a local radio station. Ivila's decision one week after the leader of the major force inside the ruling center-left coalition, Alfredo Zaldivar, announced his party would leave the "Concertacion".

Concertacion has ruled Chile since this South American country returned to democracy in 1990. Since then, defeated for three times the center-right forces linked with former Dictator Augusto Pinochet. Now, in view of its crisis, the scenario is clearer for the right to end with Concertacion hegemony.

The ruling coalition faces its worst-ever crisis since October this year, when the Chairman of the Radical Social-Democrat Party, Patricio Tambolini, became involved in a large-scale corruption scandal. He is blamed on bribery for passing a law in the Congress.

As the crisis advances, President Lagos, former Ambassador to Moscow during the Socialist Government of Salvador Allende, appeals to the original basis of the coalition. "The Concertacion born because we thought we had no reasons for living in a Dictatorship. We knew we could live in democracy and we fight for that", Lagos added.

By the time being, the political crisis did not have impact on the economics. Figures remain stable and analysts expect a normal behavior of the financial variables in the short term. However, is impossible to predict a middle-long term scenario, something very remarkable in the most stable South American economy.

Hernan Etchaleco PRAVDA.Ru Argentina

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