Soledad Alvear

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Soledad Alvear
SolAlvear.jpg
Foreign Affairs Minister of Chile
In office
March 11, 2000 – October 1, 2004
Appointed by Ricardo Lagos
Preceded by Juan Gabriel Valdés Soublette
Succeeded by Ignacio Walker Prieto
Personal details
Born (1950-09-17) September 17, 1950 (age 64)
Santiago, Chile, Chile
Residence Santiago, Chile, Chile

María Soledad Alvear Valenzuela (born September 17, 1950), is a Chilean lawyer and Christian Democrat politician, who was a cabinet member of the Aylwin, Frei and Lagos administrations. She was president of the Christian Democrat Party (PDC) from 2006-2008. She is currently senator for Santiago/East.

Under President Patricio Aylwin, Alvear worked as Minister of Women's Affairs, a new Ministry created to deal with discrimination against women in Chilean society. Under the Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle administration she assumed as Justice Minister and helped in completely overhauling the Criminal Justice Code, which dated from Spanish Colonial times. With Ricardo Lagos she worked as campaign manager during the 2000 runoff election, and then under his government she worked as Foreign Minister, signing Free Trade Agreement with the United States, the European Community and South Korea.

On late 2004 Alvear won her party's nomination for the upcoming presidential election, and then was to face the Socialist Party candidate, Michelle Bachelet, in an open primary election, to define a sole Concertación candidate. However, low support in opinion polls and on her own party leadership led her to resign two months before the defining primary. Her decision to run for a seat in the Senate in the concurrent parliamentary election proved successful, winning a seat for the PDC in the Santiago/East constituency. In May 2006, she became the first woman elected president of the PDC, with nearly 70% of the votes.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Juan Gabriel Valdés Soublette
Minister of Foreign Affairs
2000-2004
Succeeded by
Ignacio Walker Prieto
Party political offices
Preceded by
Adolfo Zaldívar
Christian Democrat Party President
2006-2008
Succeeded by
Jorge Burgos