People in Chile began voting on Sunday in a run-off election to choose a successor to President Sebastian Pinera from between two women — socialist former president Michelle Bachelet and conservative Evelyn Matthei.

Polling stations opened at 8am for some 13.6 million registered voters, and are set to close 10 hours after that. The first preliminary results are expected at around 2300 GMT.

Ms. Bachelet (62) who served as president from 2006 to 2010, won the first round in November, with 47 per cent of the votes. Ruling party candidate Matthei (60) came second in that race, with 25 per cent.

Consecutive presidential terms are not allowed under Chilean law.

Chile’s new system of voluntary voting was implemented for the first time in a general election last month; 49 per cent of those registered to vote actually did so.

More In: World | International | News