- - Monday, October 29, 2012

SANTIAGO — Maya Fernandez Allende, the granddaughter of Chile’s fallen socialist President Salvador Allende, won her first major political race on Sunday, as leftist parties regained lost ground in municipal elections nationwide.

The election featured millions of citizens voting for the first time after Chile greatly expanded its electorate, although absenteeism was also high.

Mrs. Fernandez, 41, defeated incumbent Mayor Pedro Sabat of the center-right National Renovation party in Nunoa, a district of the capital. A socialist and veterinarian by trade, she served on the local council in the district after growing up in Cuba, where her mother, Beatriz, lived in exile after Allende died during Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s 1973 coup.

The left’s biggest victory was in central Santiago, where Carolina Toha defeated Pablo Zalaquett of the ultra-conservative Independent Democratic Union. She served as a spokeswoman for former President Michelle Bachelet, and her father, Allende’s vice president, died after being jailed and tortured.

The left also won in the capital’s upper-class Providencia district, where community leader Josefina Errazuriz ended retired Col. Cristian Labbe’s 16-year-hold on the mayor’s office. Col. Labbe led Pinochet’s domestic intelligence agency during the dictatorship and has tried to bring Pinochet’s disciples back from the political wilderness.

BRAZIL

Leftist holds mayor’s seat in biggest city

SAO PAULO — The Brazilian leftist ruling party candidate easily won the mayoral race in South America’s biggest city Sunday in a second-round vote, outpacing an experienced opposition rival and former presidential candidate.

Workers’ Party candidate and former education minister Fernando Haddad won more than 55 percent of the vote in Sao Paulo, a traditional stronghold for the top opposition party.

Mr. Haddad began the race months ago polling just 2 percent, but he eased into office on the back of strong campaigning from popular former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Brazil’s current leader, Dilma Rousseff.

Mr. Haddad served as education minister from 2005 until 2012 under both Mr. Silva and Ms. Rousseff.

Following his win, Mr. Haddad said he would break through the “wall of shame that separates the rich city from the poor city.” He promised to make advances in education and the woeful public transportation system poor.

Jose Serra, of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party and a former mayor and governor of Sao Paulo, won 44 percent of the vote. He ran against Ms. Rousseff in the presidential race in 2010 and against Mr. Silva for the presidency in 2002.

MARTINIQUE

French tourists missing in storm

FORT-DE-FRANCE — A motorboat with at least six people on board was missing in the eastern Caribbean Sea on Monday, a region still experiencing heavy swells from Hurricane Sandy far to the north, officials said.

The rigid-hulled inflatable boat was supposed to have left the island of Dominican on Sunday for the nearby French island of Martinique but never reached its destination, authorities said.

On board were four men and two women, all French citizens, who were attending a music festival on Dominica, according to a statement from the police in Martinique.

The journey between the two islands should normally take no more than two hours, said Dominican Coast Guard Cmdr. Mervyn Pendenque.

French aircraft searched for the missing boat, as officials in Dominica checked the island to see if the vessel was anchored to await better conditions, Cmdr. Pendenque said.

The storm caused widespread flooding and wind damage in the Caribbean and is blamed for at least 69 deaths.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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