SANTIAGO, Chile – Sebastian Pinera left office four years ago as a deeply unpopular leader. Now he's a strong favorite to win Sunday's presidential election in Chile, though he's unlikely to avoid a runoff.
A flagging economy and other stumbles by the center-left government of Michelle Bachelet appear to have warmed Chileans' memories of Pinera. The billionaire businessman was plagued by massive protests over inequality and education rights but oversaw economic growth averaging 5.3 percent yearly during his term from 2010 to 2014.
The world's top copper producing country has been hit by lower international prices and demand for the metal that is the backbone of its economy. The resulting has cast a retrospective glow over Pinera's reputation.
Polls show him with a 2-1 lead over his closest competitor.