Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Frei and the second or maternal family name is Ruiz-Tagle.
Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle
Eduardo Frei 1998 (recorte).jpg
President of Chile
In office
March 11, 1994 – March 11, 2000
Preceded by Patricio Aylwin
Succeeded by Ricardo Lagos
Senator for the Los Rios Region
In office
March 11, 2006 – March 11, 2014
Preceded by Gabriel Valdés Subercaseaux
Succeeded by Alfonso de Urresti Longton
President of the Senate of Chile
In office
March 11, 2006 – March 11, 2008
Preceded by Sergio Romero Pizzaro
Succeeded by Adolfo Zaldívar
Personal details
Born Eduardo Alfredo Juan Bernardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle
(1942-06-24) June 24, 1942 (age 72)
Santiago, Chile
Nationality Chilean, Swiss
Political party Christian Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Marta Larraechea Bolívar
Children 4
Alma mater University of Chile
Occupation Civil Engineer
Religion Roman Catholicism
Signature

Eduardo Alfredo Juan Bernardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle (Spanish pronunciation: [eˈðwaɾðo alˈfɾeðo ˈxwan βerˈnarðo ˈfɾej ˈrwis ˈtaɣle]; born June 24, 1942) is a Chilean politician and civil engineer who was President of Chile from 1994 to 2000. He is currently Senator for Los Ríos and was President of the Senate from 2006 to 2008. He attempted a comeback as the candidate of the ruling Concertación coalition for the 2009 presidential election, but was narrowly defeated. His father was Eduardo Frei Montalva who was President of Chile from 1964 to 1970.

Biography[edit]

Frei was born in Santiago to Eduardo Frei Montalva and María Ruiz-Tagle Jiménez. He received all his schooling at the Luis Campino Institute. He then attended the University of Chile, where he graduated as a Civil Engineer, specializing in hydraulics. After graduation, he followed advanced courses in management in Italy.

Frei, whose grandfather Eduardo Frei Schlinz emigrated to Chile from Switzerland, obtained Swiss citizenship in February 2009.[1][2][3][4][5]

Political career[edit]

Frei took his first steps in politics while at the university, where he was a student leader. In 1958, he joined the Christian Democrat party, and in 1964 participated actively in his father's successful presidential campaign. Between 1969 and 1988 he concentrated on his profession, as one of the partners of Sigdo Koppers S.A., the largest engineering company in Chile.

In 1988 Frei founded and promoted the Comité Pro Elecciones Libres ("Committee for the promotion of free elections"). In 1989 he was elected Senator for Santiago, obtaining the highest amount of votes in the whole country. In the Senate, he presided over the Treasury and Budget commission, and was a member of the Housing commission.

In 1992 Frei participated in the primary presidential elections of his coalition, where he defeated Ricardo Lagos, and then went on to win the presidential elections in 1993. He took office on March 11, 1994 and was succeeded by Lagos in 2000. Frei’s presidency was notable in making improvements in health and education, together with reducing poverty.[6] Following the end of his presidency, Frei assumed, as a former President, a seat as senator-for-life in Congress. Given that Constitutional reforms in 2005 abolished life senators starting in 2006, Frei ran for an elected Senate seat in the December 2005 parliamentary elections and was victorious. He was elected in the electoral district of Valdivia Province and Osorno Province together with Andrés Allamand. On March 11, 2006 Frei became President of the Senate, like his father, who was also President of the Senate after being President of the Republic.

In 2009-2010, Frei ran for the presidency of Chile for a second time, again as the candidate of the centre-left Concertación center-coalition, promising continuity of the popular outgoing President Michelle Bachelet's path.[7] Some of his presidential campaign banners and billboards pictured him accompanied by Michelle Bachelet over his left shoulder. In the first round of the elections, held on December 13, 2009, Frei held 29.60% of the official vote, second to his opponent Sebastián Piñera, who led with 44.05%. Since neither candidate received more than half of the total votes, a run-off election was held on Sunday, January 17, 2010. The first preliminary results announced by the Deputy Interior Ministry at 21:00 GMT on election day gave Piñera 51.87% and Frei holding 48.12%. Frei conceded[8] to Piñera at 21:44 GMT.

In a graceful exit from the campaign, former President Eduardo Frei stated,

"The election is over and Chileans have shown civic maturity... The results clearly show the solidity of our democracy. It has been clean and transparent in line with our tradition. I want to congratulate Pinera, to whom most Chileans have given their trust for the next four years." [9]

Honours and awards[edit]

  • Commander of the Order of the Sun (Peru)
  • Knight Grand Cross with Grand Cordon of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, July 19, 1995
  • Knight Grand Cross of the Grand Order of King Tomislav ("For outstanding achievements in promoting the development of friendship and fruitful cooperation in political, cultural and economic development between the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Chile, and in promoting peace, democracy, stability and international cooperation in the world on the basis of the principles of the UN Charter and the provisions of international law." - November 8, 1994)
  • Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland
  • Member of the Club de Madrid,[10] an independent non-profit organization composed of 88 democratic former Presidents and Prime Ministers from 58 different countries.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Swiss citizenship for Chile's Frei criticised". swissinfo. 14 January 2010. Retrieved 19 February 2010. 
  2. ^ "Wird ein Schweizer Präsident von Chile?". Berner Zeitung (in German). 9 January 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2010. 
  3. ^ "¿Un suizo, el próximo Presidente de Chile?". Swissinfo (in Spanish). 12 January 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2010. 
  4. ^ "Schweizer Pass für Eduardo Frei". Neue Zürcher Zeitung (in German). 12 January 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2010. 
  5. ^ "El candidado chileno Frei tiene desde hace dos meses la nacionalidad suiza" (in Spanish). Agence France-Presse. 9 January 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2010. 
  6. ^ http://www.clubmadrid.org/en/miembro/eduardo_frei_ruiz_tagle>
  7. ^ "PREVIEW-Chile right seen ousting left in first since Pinochet". Reuters. 2009-12-09. 
  8. ^ Gardner, Simon (2010-01-17). "Chile's Frei concedes defeat to Pinera in vote". Reuters. 
  9. ^ China Daily Billionaire Sebastian Pinera wins Chile presidency
  10. ^ The Club de Madrid is an independent non-profit organization composed of 81 democratic former Presidents and Prime Ministers from 58 different countries. It constitutes the world´s largest forum of former Heads of State and Government, who have come together to respond to a growing demand for support among leaders in democratic leadership, governance, crisis and post-crisis situations. All lines of work share the common goal of building functional and inclusive societies, where the leadership experience of the members is most valuable.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Patricio Aylwin
President of Chile
1994-2000
Succeeded by
Ricardo Lagos
Preceded by
Sergio Romero
President of the Senate of Chile
2006-2008
Succeeded by
Adolfo Zaldívar
Party political offices
Preceded by
Andrés Zaldívar
Christian Democrat Party President
1991-1993
Succeeded by
Gutenberg Martínez