Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle
|Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle|
|Senator of Chile
For Los Rios Region
March 11, 2006
|President of the Senate of Chile|
March 11, 2006 – March 11, 2008
|Preceded by||Sergio Romero Pizzaro|
|Succeeded by||Adolfo Zaldívar|
|32nd President of Chile|
March 11, 1994 – March 11, 2000
|Preceded by||Patricio Aylwin|
|Succeeded by||Ricardo Lagos|
June 24, 1942 |
|Political party||Christian Democrat|
|Spouse(s)||Marta Larraechea Bolívar|
|Alma mater||University of Chile|
Eduardo Alfredo Juan Bernardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle (Spanish pronunciation: [eˈðwaɾðo alˈfɾeðo ˈxwan verˈnaɾðo 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.
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 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. 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. 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 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." 
Honours and awards
- 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, an independent non-profit organization composed of 88 democratic former Presidents and Prime Ministers from 58 different countries.
- "Swiss citizenship for Chile's Frei criticised". swissinfo. 14 January 2010. Retrieved 19 February 2010.
- "Wird ein Schweizer Präsident von Chile?". Berner Zeitung (in German). 9 January 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
- "¿Un suizo, el próximo Presidente de Chile?". Swissinfo (in Spanish). 12 January 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
- "Schweizer Pass für Eduardo Frei". Neue Zürcher Zeitung (in German). 12 January 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
- "El candidado chileno Frei tiene desde hace dos meses la nacionalidad suiza" (in Spanish). Agence France-Presse. 9 January 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
- "PREVIEW-Chile right seen ousting left in first since Pinochet". Reuters. 2009-12-09.
- Gardner, Simon (2010-01-17). "Chile's Frei concedes defeat to Pinera in vote". Reuters.
- China Daily Billionaire Sebastian Pinera wins Chile presidency
- 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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle.|
- Senado's Personal profile
- Biography by CIDOB Foundation (in Spanish)
- Genealogical chart of Frei-Montalva Family
|President of Chile
|President of the Senate of Chile
|Party political offices|
|Christian Democrat Party President