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Piñera, Sebastian

Piñera, Sebastián (Miguel Juan Sebastián Piñera Echenique) mēgĕl´ hwän sābästyän´ pēnyā´rä āchā´nēkā [key], 1949–, Chilean business executive and politician, president of Chile (2010–14), grad. Catholic Univ. of Chile, 1971, Ph.D Harvard, 1975. The son of an ambassador, he made a fortune in banking, largely through his involvement the introduction of credit cards into Chile, and in subsequent airline, television, and other investements. A moderate conservative who opposed the Pinochet regime, he became a member of the National Renewal party and served as a senator (1990–98). In the 2006 presidential election he lost after a runoff to Socialist Michele Bachelet , but four years later he won the presidency, defeating former president Eduardo Frei. The first conservative to be elected president since the end of Pinochet's rule, he appointed a cabinet consisting mainly of techocrats and took office in the aftermath of the worst earthquake Chile had suffered in five decades.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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