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|‹ 1998 2006 ›|
|Chilean Presidential election, 2002|
|January 20-February 17, 2002|
|Candidate||Isabel Allende||Joaquín Lavín|
|Candidate||Jesús Cohn Martinelli||Gladys Marín|
The Chilean Presidential election of 2002 was held on January 20 and February 17, 2002, to elect the President of Chile. President Ricardo Lagos was ineligible to run as the Constitution prohibits Presidents from serving more than one term. The election featured six candidates, and predictably sent Isabel Allende of the UDP and Joaquín Lavín of the CDN to the runoff, where Allende defeated Lavín 51.7% to 48.3%.
The election was controversial, as Allende was a relative of former President Salvador Allende, the country's Communist dictator for twenty-three years, and despite being rehabilitated was seen as an extremist. Lavín was also viewed as being too far to the right, as his Gremialist Union was the hard-right party of the center-right CDN coalition. The advancement of Allende and Lavín to the runoff was criticized by Radical Party candidate Jesús Cohn Martinelli, who placed a narrow third behind the two main candidates and alleged that vote-tampering by the two main coalitions had prevented the PR, which had polled strongly in late 2001 and in the weeks leading up to the election in 2002, from advancing, which both coalitions and their party members saw as unacceptable as the Radicals refused to join one of their respective coalitions.
The election is regarded as Chile's dirtiest under the 1990 Constitution, with several members of both coalitions being suspected and later convicted of campaign finance fraud, illegal voter intimidation and even corruptive influences.