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Chile's President Unpopular Despite Great Economy

Pinera's personality, on display during what was perhaps excessive media exposure, and some gaffes contributed to his low numbers, Martinez said. And several cabinet members have been accused of conflicts of interests or other scandals.

One of Chile's richest businessmen, Pinera was criticized for delaying the sale of his 26 percent stake in LAN, the country's flagship airline. He ultimately sold it for about $1.5 billion.

Martinez doubts Pinera can turn around his popularity ratings during his last 13 months in office, but he expects a successful legacy to turn that around in future years. "There will be some recognition to a mandate that has not been popular," he said.

Marco Moreno, a political analyst at Universidad Central, blames "a lack of trust and credibility" in the president.

"This is the result of members of the government, and Pinera himself, being involved in a series of situations where they have been questioned because of a conflict of interest," he said.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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