Chilean presidential candidate for the New Majority coalition Michelle Bachelet, makes a statement to the press after casting her vote during the run-off presidential election in Santiago, capital ofChile, on Dec. 15, 2013. Chileans went to the polls on Sunday for a run-off vote between conservative Evelyn Matthei and Socialist former president Michelle Bachelet, an unprecedented race for the top office between two female candidates. (Xinhua/Jorge Villegas)
SANTIAGO, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- Chile's center-left New Majority opposition candidate Michelle Bachelet was declared winner in Chile's presidential run-off Sunday, becoming the first woman in Chile to be elected as the president twice.
Bachelet garnered 3.5 million, or 62 percent, of the votes against 2 million, or 38 percent, of ballots for her rival Evelyn Matthei, the ruling conservative party candidate, according to Chile's Electoral Service (Servel).
"The time has come to carry out the changes," Bachelet told supporters in Santiago.
Bachelet, 62, is to take office on March 11 next year and she served as Chile's first female president from 2006 to 2010.
Matthei conceded defeat. "It's clear she won and I congratulate her," Matthei told reporters soon after Bachelet's winning.
In the first round of the presidential election on Nov. 17, no candidates garnered 50 percent of the votes needed to win an outright victory.
Bachelet had long been the favored candidate to succeed President Sebastian Pinera.
Barred by law from serving a second consecutive term, Bachelet left Chile after her first term and worked as executive director of United Nations Women, the UN agency dealing with women's affairs.
Bachelet, born in Santiago on Sept. 29, 1951, studied military science at Chile's National Academy of Strategy and Policy, and the Inter-American Defense College in the United States.
In 1975, Bachelet, along with her mother, an archeologist, was held for about two weeks at Villa Grimaldi, a notorious torture center after her father Alberto Bachelet, an air force brigadier general, died in prison in March 1974 as a victim of torture for opposing the regime of former military ruler Augusto Pinochet.
Bachelet and her mother later went to Austria and Germany. She became a member of the Socialist Party after returning home in 1979.
Bachelet served as health minister from March 2000 to January 2002 and defense minister from January 2002 to October 2004, becoming the first woman to hold the post in the history of Chile and Latin America.
During the campaign this time, she proposed three major reforms, to make free education a right, make changes to tax laws in a bid to raise 8.5 billion U.S. dollars to finance the educational sector, and to adopt a new constitution.