President: Sebastian Pinera
Wealthy tycoon Sebastian Pinera was elected in January 2010 to become Chile's first right-wing leader since the departure of dictator Gen Augusto Pinochet in 1990. He took office in March.
In a second round run-off, Mr Pinera defeated former President Eduardo Frei of the left-wing Concertacion coalition that had governed Chile for 20 years.
A flamboyant billionaire businessman, Sebastian Pinera owns a television station, a football club and a large share of Chile's flag-carrier airline Lan Chile.
During the campaign, he promised to use his business knowledge to focus on creating more jobs. He also pledged to give private businesses a bigger role in the economy, and to set up a social development ministry.
His opponent, Mr Frei, received strong support from the widely-popular incumbent, Michelle Bachelet, who was barred from standing for a second term by the constitution.First attempt
Mr Pinera was beaten by Ms Bachelet in his first attempt to become president in 2006.
Before the election, Mr Pinera angrily dismissed comparisons with Italy's prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, also a powerful business tycoon. Mr Pinera promised that, if elected, he would set up a blind trust to run his wealth at arm's length.
He also strove to distance himself from the Pinochet dictatorship, repeatedly stressing that he had voted "no" in the 1988 referendum on whether to extend Gen Pinochet's rule. The cabinet he appointed in February 2010 was made up of technocrats with no connections with the Pinochet era.
Mr Pinera's popularity peaked in the autumn of 2010 following the successful conclusion of an operation to free 33 miners who had been trapped underground for 69 days after their mine collapsed.
But by the following summer, his approval ratings had dropped dramatically amid simmering social unrest.
Born in 1950, Sebastian Pinera made his fortune introducing credit cards to Chile in the 1980s. He entered the Senate in 1990.