Chilean presidential election, 1896

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The Chilean presidential election of 1896 took place through a system of electors, and resulted in the election as President of Federico Errázuriz Echaurren. The election was marred by controversy, and there had to be a confirmation in Congress to satisfy Errázuriz's opponents.


For this campaign the political forces organized themselves in two big alliances: Liberal-Conservative Coalition, whose candidate was Federico Errázuriz Echaurren, and the Liberal Alliance, whose candidate was the Senator for Santiago Vicente Reyes Palazuelos.

The campaign itself was furious and fairly even. Reyes was a member of the Doctrinary Liberal party and boasted of being a "free-thinker". On the other hand, Errázuriz was very popular with the conservatives and belonged to a well-known political family of impeccable catholic credentials. The economic issues also came to the fore: Reyes and his followers were in favor of going back to the metallic conversion, while Errázuriz (whose voting base was heavily influenced by the large land-owners and agricultural producers) was in favor of a variable conversion system that could keep the exchange rate favorable for their exports.

After a very close vote, in which the decision Errázuriz won, the Liberal Alliance refused to recognize the result. The decision was moved to the full congress, where finally Errázuriz prevailed by only two votes.


Electoral vote

Candidates Party Votes %
Federico Errázuriz Echaurren Liberal 143 50.71%
Vicente Reyes Palazuelos Radical/dissident liberals 139 49.29%
Total 282 100%

Source: (Spanish)

Congress plenary election

Candidates Party Votes %
Federico Errázuriz Echaurren Liberal 62 50.82%
Vicente Reyes Palazuelos Radical/dissident liberals 60 49.18%
Abstentions 1
Total 122 100%

Source: (Spanish)

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