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Santiago, Aug 15 (EFE).- The Chilean right's candidate in the Nov. 17 presidential election, Evelyn Matthei, will officially register her candidacy next week, according to what officials on her campaign team told Efe on Thursday.
Matthei will complete the procedure accompanied by the leaders of her own UDI party and its coalition partner, RN.
With this act, the alliance is seeking to send a signal of unity after several weeks of controversy and disagreements that put at risk the possibility of contesting the election with a single candidate.
Last Sunday, RN, the party of President Sebastian Piñera, announced its support for Matthei's candidacy and ruled out presenting a candidate specifically from within its own ranks.
Chile's constitution bars the president from seeking a second consecutive term.
The rightist coalition's original candidate, Pablo Longueira of the UDI, shocked Chile's political class in mid-July by announcing he was withdrawing from the race due to depression.
Matthei quickly resigned as labor minister in Piñera's Cabinet and declared herself a candidate for president.
The center-left opposition alliance months ago selected popular former President Michelle Bachelet, who governed Chile from 2006-2010, as its candidate in the November election, and she enjoys a substantial lead in the polls.
Matthei and Bachelet - both daughters of air force generals - were childhood friends, but their paths diverged after the Sept. 11, 1973, military coup that toppled socialist President Salvador Allende.
While Matthei's father became part of the junta that went on to rule Chile until 1990, Gen. Alberto Bachelet was arrested for his opposition to the putsch and was effectively tortured to death by his erstwhile brothers-in-arms.
Michelle Bachelet, then a medical student, and her mother were also jailed and tortured by Gen. Augusto Pinochet's secret police, but officers who had been friends of Alberto Bachelet eventually secured their release, on condition that the two women went into exile.